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In this short film, the artist prepares a traditional dish from El Salvadore called pupusas. Part of a larger body of work that includes photographs. Presented as part of the 2022 Annual Student Exhibit in the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College.

Artist Statement

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.”


Winner of the Berman Award. Awarded by the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art for artistic achievement in the Annual Student Exhibition.

The downloadable M4V video file has a run time of 3:37.


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Student Exhibition Year



student art exhibit, 2022, video work, El Salvadore, pupusas, curtido, tortillas

Rights Statement

Copyright of this work is held by the artist. It is presented here for educational purposes only and is not for commercial use.