Watered Down

2019

Exploration about my relationship with being Panamanian, and a deep dive into Panamanian culture.

Safety Yellow, performance, yellow Paint, soil, kiddie pool, orange flags, and water, 0:08:08, 2019

9 de Enero, Panamanian flag and United States flag, 2019

Madre tierra. Tierra madre. , yellow paint, soil, fabric, dimensions variable, 2019

Raspao', chicha y limonada, acrylic paint, dimensions variable, 2019

Miss Panama, performance, 30" x 20" print, 2019

Los colores del carnaval, acrylic and oil paint on wood, 5" x 5", 2019

Pollera Colorada (1-6),  gouache on fabric, 20" x 16", 2019

Roles, oil on canvas, Dimensions Variable, 2019

Artist Statement

Between 60 and 70% of the population in Panama consider themselves mixed.

‘Watered Down’ is an attempt to boil down the extended cultural and folkloric influences that I experienced growing up in Panama. This is my struggle to reclaim my identity as Panamanian. Growing up in the city, with an extensive American influence (I celebrated Halloween and Thanksgiving) and Venezuelan influence (We ate arepas and listened to gaitas extensively) it was hard to focus on my Panamanian culture. Furthermore, the prevalent Chinese and Indian communities and my family’s disinterest from the rural areas in Panama distanced myself even more. I feel disconnected and in retrospect watered down. This is me trying to belong.

Belong to the country of my mother tongue and my slang and my accent.

Belong to the country to which I have never worn its full national dress with all its jewelry and expensive petticoat.

Belong to a country that doesn’t celebrate queer identities and non-binary gender expressions.

Belong to a country, that unfortunately, I have not explored thoroughly.

Belong to a country where I am not the beauty standard but represent a good portion of the female population.

Belong to a country where people go more times to Disneyland than to Carnavales.

Belong to the country that made me and broke me.

Panama,

Patria mia.