This year, we received more than submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of
She was born in Honduras and moved to the United States when she was fourteen. How do elements of your own personal biography play into your artwork? Even though I come from a working class family, I was exposed to the poverty that pervaded many of the slums in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
Unlike in the United States, in Honduras you see children vendors trying to make a few lempiras on the streets to help feed their families. As a child, I witnessed the spectacle of human rights violations on the part of the military many times on the streets. The soldier gave no thought at all to the children who were watching.
Even at the tender age of six, I remember thinking: It was the awakening of my social conscience. I knew then that I would do something to try to change injustice, and that I would Alma leiva it from beyond the borders of my homeland. The Celdas Prison Cells series makes the viewer question what is constructed and what is naturally occurring.
What is the role of the liminal space between truth and fiction for you? When I first went back to Honduras, the gang violence problem had taken on a magnitude beyond imagination, and yet on the surface things looked normal. The whole situation was unreal to me.
I had returned to the same country, but the society had morphed into something completely different. From the clips of presidential speeches to the photographed interiors, a sense of evidence pervades the work.
As an undergraduate student in Miami, I learned that my uncle back in Honduras had been murdered in front of his family while coming home from a soccer game.
San Pedro Sula, the city where he was murdered, now claims the title of the most violent city in the world. Over the following weeks, I became obsessed with developing video work that would inform the public of the wave of violence that had swept through my homeland.
So yes, history and the problems that have affected and still affect Central Americans and the U.
Latino community today have always fascinated me, but I refuse to preach to my audience. This is the only way for me to process and assimilate the serious issues I want to introduce to the viewer.
Your work addresses a very important but misunderstood portion of US-Latin American history and relations. Do you take on a kind of advocacy or activism? As one of the few practicing artists originally from Central America and now living in the U. More recently, I lost a family member to the post-war violence that has taken over Central America.
As immigrants living in the U. Later on in grad school, I was deeply influenced by the powerful activist work of two of my professors, Sonali Gulati and Bob Paris. I came to a juncture familiar to most artists, where you have to choose between doing art for commercial reasons and creating work true to your own experience in my case, my experience as an immigrant.
I chose to create work that addresses my social and political concerns and which debates these issues in an effective way so that it leads viewers to investigate deeper.
In this sense, my work has a conscious element of activism and advocacy. What impact do you hope your work will have?
I come from an immigrant community with extremely limited support for contemporary social art practices among its own. I hope that this work will help open doors for younger generations of Central American activist-artists working in the U. I also hope that bringing the issues that afflict my community into the realm of the arts can generate increasing interest in the art from this region, thus improving the prospects for more institutional and political representation in the future.
How does your sense of place shape the work?Explore Alma Leiva's photo on Flickr! Allev 2 Followers•0 Following. 1 Photo. Joined Bio Alma Leiva was born in Honduras and moved to The United States when she was fourteen years old.
In She received a BFA in Electronic Media and Photography. Abstract. PRODUCTO CENTRO AMERICANO: MADE IN HONDURAS By Alma Leiva Master of Fine Arts A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Alma Leiva 31 people named Alma Leiva found in California, Florida and 10 other states. Click a state below to find Alma more easily. Alma Leiva is a Honduran born artist, who moved to the United States at the age of fourteen.
Leiva received a BFA from the University of Florida in and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in The Exploring Latino Identities series examines issues in Latino/Latin American contemporary art through interviews with artists, art historians, and others.
In today’s installment, Miami-NYC based Honduran American artist Alma Leiva talks about making art for a transnational cause. She was born.