Antes De Mi

Before Me

Through this series of photogravures Arleene Correa Valencia attempts to draw a timeline of her family’s history dating back to the union of her paternal grandparents, who now play a significant role in the way that the artist connects to her native heritage. One by one each photogravure reveals a part of her family’s story that ultimately lead to her migration to the United States, where she would confront the hardships of being an undocumented immigrant. Growing up as an undocumented recipient of DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Correa Valencia observed that much of the family’s past had been lost or erased as a way to seamlessly assimilate and ultimately protect them from being discovered as “illegal.”

This series merges together photographs and text that were exchanged between Correa Valencia and her father in 1996 when she was separated from him, as he was the first parent to leave Mexico and embark on his journey to the U.S. Arleene Correa Valencia combines etchings of traditional Mexica images, family photos, embroidery and beading to sew together stories that span multiple generations. These pieces aim to illustrate a family’s survival through the political unrest between the United States and Latin America.

This series was generously supported by the Federico Sevilla Sierra residency program at Mullowney Printing Company in Portland, Oregon.  More information:  here 

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