”Ay mija, no es fácil!” (Ay mija, it’s not easy!): It is a participatory painting project made in collaboration with Cubans, from both the Berlin diaspora and Cuba itself. Ay mija! denies the idea of a homogeneous collective identity, and embraces instead the polyphony and contradictions present in the Cuban society.
The biographical testimonies of the participants served as the basis for a series of paintings and a video installation exhibited in Santiago de Cuba (2018). During this exhibition, the gallery visitors were invited to participate and compete with their contribution the Artwork initiated in the diaspora.
As dialog is one of the central topics of Ay Mija!, the project becomes different meanings depending on the reception context. In a Cuban context it raises questions about the collective identity; in Berlin invites to a reflection about the Euro-centric vision of alterity and open a door for empathy with “the other” through the biographical testimonies of the participants.
Elena is curious to experience how the Iranian public connects with Ay mija! and continue her research about the potential of participatory projects engaging with different social contexts and audiences.
Elena Alonso Fernández is born in 1986 in Vigo (Galicia, Spain), currently lives and works in Berlin. She studied fine arts at Salamanca University. And then graduated from UdK’s postgraduate master’s program “Art in Context”. For further information: http://elenaalonsofernandez.com/