Student Exhibition Year
Digital photograph depicting a family member attending a funeral in El Salvador via a smartphone. One in a series of eight works. Presented as part of the 2022 Annual Student Exhibit in the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College.
My work talks about the responsibilities I have to endure being the oldest daughter of immigrant parents while being a first-generation college student. This series reflects on my self-discovery of what my duality means and the responsibility of being me. Despite challenges, these different series helped me gain confidence in my duality as Salvadorean and American by learning to value myself without others’ validation.
I also tackle the question of “what is the true ‘American Dream?’” and explore the pressure that question places on my family in the United States and El Salvador. I was able to achieve this by visualizing the chaos and harmony of cultural duality in my photographs and short films. For example, in my two short films: the audio contrasts the English subtitles and gives an idea of being bilingual and belonging to two different communities. It visualizes what goes on in my mind: being fluent in both languages and simultaneously experiencing the pressure from my family and myself.
Most recently, in El Salvador, I made the series What is the “American Dream,” where I captured my grandmother’s funeral that I planned since my mother could not attend. As well as Solidad, which is an image of my grandmother back in August, where she sat with the hope that she would see her family again–most of them shown in the framed collage she made. Through my self-discovery, I immersed myself in El Salvador and Latinx communities to capture the unique stories that make us, us. These stories are essential to understanding who I am, and I hope these stories resonate with someone and help others understand the complexities of the “American Dream.”
Copyright of the underlying work is held by the artist. The digital image presented here is for educational purposes only and is not for commercial use.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
student art exhibit, 2022, photograph, digital photography, El Salvador, funeral, smartphone