I created this video in solidarity with the immigrants who are being pilloried for trying to enter the United States. "La maleta latina" [a latina suticase] is a familiar trope used by latinx people who've had to leave their homes because of political upheavals. In an American context, it can also refer to the “baggage” that comes along with that profound life event. Using family footage, this video traces my family’s displacement from Cuba to Colombia to the United States, while showing the resulting shifts in class, culture, and degrees of adaptation.
As Cuban immigrants to the United States in the early sixties, my family couldn’t afford to travel too far outside our new home of Queens, New York, for at least a decade. In those early years, an aunt and uncle’s 8mm travel movies were our only personal window to the rest of the country. Looking at those now, I vividly remember how intimidating and out of reach those places felt to me. These movies formed my earliest impressions of America.
This video is a symbolic exhumation and loving burial of my West African 5th great-grandmother, a Cuban slave, whom I learned about from a DNA test and Cuban slave census. I have yet to uncover her name or personal details. It features actress Samantha Rae Bass.
June 2018 Best Video Art Award, 5 Continents International Film Festival, Venezuela; July 2018, Official Selection, Rancagua, O'Higgins, Chile
This brief performance is a radical message to the spirits of all of my Cuban colonial ancestors, who exploited so many native Taino Amerindians and transplanted African slaves over generations on the island.
2019 Official Selection, Queens World Film Festival, NY; 2018 Best Experimental Short and the Audience Award, Experimental Forum, Los Angeles; June 2018 Official Selection for Short Film, 5 Continents International Film Festival, Venezuela
sangre podrida [rotten blood] registers how I felt after learning that I have Cuban ancestors who practiced slavery for hundreds of years.
2018 Honorable Mention, LA Underground Film Festival
"querido cuba" is a video performance that asks if documents, DNA, memories, ancestral history, love of people and place are enough to qualify one as a cubana after a lifetime of displacement.
2018 Honorable Mention, LA Underground Film Forum
An allegory about the colonial social contract that oppressed Cuba for hundreds of years.
London Independent Film Awards - October 2017 Best Experimental Short; International New York Film Festival - 2017 Silver Award, Experimental Category
Family ghosts respond to the Cuban Revolution.
In this loop video, a Cuban boy marks time under the gaze of Cuba’s revolutionary heroes.
A fever dream about the artworld.
A meditation on the wonders of a virtual landscape.
Sydney World Film Festival - Fall 2017 Official Selection, Experimental Film
In this loop video, a woman walks home uneasily on a late night.
2015 ILLUMINUS Boston
A feminist commentary on the close-up.