Monthly Archives: April 2016

Belonging in the time of Globalization

Some voluntary migrants are motivated in part by experiencing the home culture as too homogeneous or provincial. These individuals experienced themselves, and were perceived as, ‘different’ in their native culture and this contributed to a feeling of not-belonging. Migrants who are motivated by a need to be unencumbered, independent, on a journey to realise one’s self potential, could be called ‘existential migrants’. The motive is not economic betterment or only ‘escape from’, but includes elements of the ‘hero’s journey’ in Joseph Campbell’s words. The ‘call’ to leave home may manifest in similar ways to the ‘call of conscience’ that Heidegger describes below.

Greg Madison, from At-home in the Elsewhere.

Where is home and where do I belong? I am a stranger in my homeland, Puerto Rico, where I was born, and a stranger in the country to which we migrated, the United States of America. However, when I was growing up in the Bronx during the 50s and 60s I yearned to someday leave and discover other possibilities, other homes, other countries At 65 I have come to imagine what my mother felt when she arrived in New York City along with thousands of others who were looking for better opportunities for their families. Except my reasons were not due to economic desires, but of rich and diverse identities. Each journey brought visions of fluidity of self intermingled with others to create a third, fourth, and fifth self. It’s all about movement, fluidity.

My work explores the many facets of movement. It is not only about showing the journey, but also about what happens inside our minds when we are trying to come to terms with these feelings of ambiguity, isolation, and belonging.  It is meant to be a conduit of expressions of existential migration. A migration that is synonymous to wanderlust, looking for a place where my identity will finally find that acceptance and belonging that I have been searching for.


No One Wants To Talk About It.

She sits behind the window. Staring but not seeing. Only blurred images seem to flow through the frame of her window. She picks up the cup and as she puts it to her lips, the tears begins to flow. Another day spent in hopelessness. She is not homeless. She has a family that love her. She has a life that many would see as comfortable. Then why does she feel anxious and hopeless? Why can’t she just snap out of it? The demons inside doesn’t let her breathe, but she suffers in silence because she doesn’t want anyone to know that she suffers from dark moods. In other words she suffers from depression. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, it affects us all at some point in our lives, but we choose to shove it under the table. Perhaps if we were open to our feelings and shared them with others perhaps maybe many would have not have succumbed to feelings of suicide, or worse actually go through it. However, there are people who don’t understand and tell you to shake it off and get over it. Or perhaps they think you are weak and unable to function, but many are high functioning individuals who suffer in complete silence, and when they commit suicide, people are shocked because they didn’t see it coming.

My mother suffered through it, I have suffered through it, but no one can know your pain unless you experience yourself. There are good days and bad, but when it’s bad, you just throw the covers over your head and sleep in the hopes your dreams will take you to a happier place.

My work hints at these feelings as when I photograph empty streets at night or day showing aloneness and eeriness. Other times I do self portraits that perform darkness that evoke a sense of anxiousness and foreboding.

If you feel darkness, then please seek help. It’s ok, you are not alone. We are not alone.

A NuYorican Woman of the 60s

As a woman who lived through the exciting sixties, there isn’t a bone in my body which doesn’t cry out for a cacophony of voices to be heard for what is happening to our world. Greed upon greed is overtaking the western world at the speed of light.   But there is a flickering light where people have gathered in most major cities in solidarity crying out for change before the western countries become third world countries and the powerful become more powerful. Men turn on one another only to discover that they all want the same thing. That the powerful who govern should be accountable and responsible to those that put them there. To give back to the people whose backs are broken from the sweat and tears of their toils to work for the man so he can accumulate more wealth.

Yes I was a woman of the 60s and I protested like the rest of them for civil rights, for no unjust wars, for equality for women. Our children will be inheriting this world, and I shudder to think that their world will not be a world full of promise and hope. God bless our World and that it awakens from this sorry state into a world of promise and peace.

The images above are a collage of dealing with the chaos of today and coming to grips with what appears to be a changing world.

A Chance for Older Women Artists to be Noticed in the Art World

As a 65 year old artist I know the difficulties that exists for older women artists to be given opportunities to show their work through exhibitions and other artistic venues. This award will send a message that we are just as capable to exhibit in national and private galleries. We have become invisible in life and in art. We have postponed our pursuits in art because of working, raising a family, and just surviving.

I have another opinion about photographic contests which choose work that is very technically savvy, however, if you are a young man or woman coming from the South Bronx or other urban schools, most of the time you don’t have the resources to compete. So the person who shot a fantastic image from the high end Canon, or used an expensive editing program can win another expensive camera. There are artists who use less expensive equipment but have the eyes, the passion, and the heart to make work that is just as good, if not better. So, yes, I went off on a tangent, but this also needed to be addressed because it all relates to each other. Women who are retired and managing on a fixed income, also have to make do with what they have, and still create work that encompasses their vision and their experiences.

Women artists who are over 50 have a lot to contribute, and many of them are of color as well. So I am delighted to know that this prize will offer a much needed boost to women artists over 50. I know I would love to be acknowledged until I am at the ripe old age of 100, but now is ok too.