Nothing Hurts like Home
Nothing Hurts like Home explores my complicated relationship with homemaking as a refugee who has experienced displacement.This project is a fragmented visual diary/Study of the challenges and markers of making a home in the between. Home has always been a battlefield. Home is where I was taught to fear. How do you make home when going home is too dangerous? What do you do with the pain that home brings?
This work was influenced by my move to rural central NY as I simultaneously became a US citizen. It deals with the dislocation, otherness, and white washing caused by the process of making home in the unwelcoming. This work explores the ways I hold on to my cultural roots as everywhere I go demands adaptation and assimilation.
The performances and photographs were made in El Salvador and Sauquiot, NY. They are my attempts to make sense of and connections to a state I did not choose. In 2017, I returned to my homeland after 14 years of being told it is a place I should not be. I visited my childhood home that now is ruled by gangs and I reconnected with my father. The photographs and videos aim to make a visual map of the interconnections between the land I was forced to leave, my place here, and what remains of the memory I once called home.
This work is my reconciliation and acceptance of a reality that it is part of the immigrant experience to never truly be there nor here; while at the same time I aim to find the possibilities of existing in a state of liminality to create a space where my brown body can thrive and exist.