En Medio de la Nostalgia
(In the Midst of Nostalgia)

This project started in the middle of a Texas summer. While cleaning out my family‘s garage, I found a letter from my grandfather to my mother. I moved from the hot garage to the comfort of my cool room to inspect the letter further. It was dated 1989, a year after I was born, and a time where the only method of communication for my parents and my grandparents was through scheduled phone calls, letters, and packages filled with photos or VHS video recordings. My father and mother were born and raised in their respective countries of Germany and Peru. They immigrated to the Rio Grande Valley, the southernmost tip of South Texas, and a portion of northern Tamaulipas, Mexico.

I, along with my siblings, are first-generation multicultural Americans. It has been hard to feel a sense of belonging or acceptance anywhere. I often question what makes up one‘s identity, and when several cultures are involved, is there one that dominates above the rest, or can they all live within someone harmoniously? Growing up, it was not uncommon to hear things like “You wouldn't understand because you're not Mexican“ or “I forgot you were Peruvian“ from both close friends and family members, leading to a feeling of being othered by my communities. These feelings have led me to question my understanding of place, my sense of personal identity, and even the impressions of my memories. This project is a metaphor for the in-between– discovering a mental space that I have constructed while delving into my family‘s past.

I have created a visual narrative that reflects the loss of ethnic roots, exploring the isolation and confusion felt from multiple cultures. This project consists of photographs constructed from my memories and life events. I rely on symbolism to relate to my cultures and combine them to find a new meaning representing my experience. The color red is consistent throughout my project. It is the only color that brings all four cultures together through their flags and a complex color that holds many meanings, from love and passion to anger and religious fervor. I use my family archives to explore my family‘s history throughout several generations and make sense of myself.

Just Landed, 2021
Portrait of my Father as a Child
Portrait of my Father as a Child, 2020
It's Hard to Find a Home, 2020
Not Less
Not Less, 2020
Chantal and Chantal
Chantal and Chantal, 2021
How do you know when you've made it?, 2021
Portrait of a Man I Never Knew
Portrait of a Man I Never Knew, 2020
La Creida
La Creida, 2021
Where you least expect it
Where You Least Expect It, 2021
Portrait of my Mother as a Child
Portrait of My Mother as a Child, 2020
Confirmed Bitch
Confirmed Bitch, 2020
It will be here when you come back
It Will Be Here When You Come Back, 2021
Lupita's Bridal Boutique, 2020
I've Spent so much money trying to look like you
La Alegria de la Familia (The Joy of the Family), 2021
La Alegria de la Familia
I've Spent So Much Money Trying to Look Like You, 2020
Cholas Y Pishtacos, 2021
My tripping tongue makes me feel like a fraud
My Tripping Tongue Makes Me Feel Like a Fraud, 2020
La Carreta, 2021
Self Portrait: What Are You?
Self-Portrait: What Are You?, 2021
Sorry I Missed Your Call
Making it in America, 2021
Making it in America
Sorry I Missed Your Call, 2021
Same, but different
Same, but Different, 2021
In the Midst of my Nostalgia
In the Midst of My Nostalgia, 2021
Curanderas, 2021
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