Ay mija, no es fácil! (Ay mija, it´s not easy!), 2017-2018.

Ay mija, no es fácil!(Ay mija, it’s not easy!) its a participatory painting project made in collaboration with cuban people in Berlin and on the island. Part of this artistic research took place in the Provincial Center of Fine Arts and Design of Santiago de Cuba in Januar 2018, as a collateral event of the mural painting Biennial Internos XIII. The show was composed by a series of 12 paintings and a 35 minutes audio installation.

Cuba is currently experiencing a historical moment of political, economical and social changes. After the big crisis caused by the fall of the USSR in the 1990s, the country had to open up to the global economy. Ever since, the coexistence of private and state-owned businesses together with a dual currency, have left behind many social inequalities and contradictions in the island. This process is being catalyzed by the imminent end of the raging Castros, the high tourism, and a precarious, but spreading internet. How do the Cubans adapt to this process? Which pictures leave those changes in the daily life?

The artist explores questions around this development and searches for visual motifs with help of the people who better now about it: the cubans themselves. To beginn with, she engages with the cuban diaspora in Berlin. Their experience abroad shapes the view they have of their homeland, offering an interesting reflection of the differences between life under a socialist and a capitalist system. These biographical narratives are the starting point for the series of painting – a visual mosaic that gathers many different aspects of Cubas situation, highlighted by the participants and brought in the pictorial through the external vision of the artist. The audio installation, composed by extracts of the participant’s interviews, brings to the exhibition further aspects of the complex topic through first-hand witnesses.

The project offers the participants a way to express themselves and co-create a portrait of the situation in their homeland. During her stay in Santiago, the artist opened up this collaboration to the visitors of the exhibition, recording their opinions to the same questions to later incorporated them in the project and put them dialogue with the ones abroad. The final result of the artistic research will be shown in Berlin 2018.

The exhibition in Santiago was friendly supported by IFA (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen)
More information: https://www.ifa.de/en/visual-arts/art-funding/exhibition-funding.html/