María Magdalena Campos-Pons(La Vega, Matanzas, 1959)

Magdalena Campos' second diaspora has to do with her departure to the United States, where she has resided since 1991, and with the estrangement from her native language, her family and social and cultural context. Although this is very different from her initial diaspora, it has evoked almost identical feelings in the artist. Her life in a different milieu seems to have elicited in her not only rewards, happiness and joys, but discomforts, pains and conflicts similar to those suffered by her distant African relatives when they arrived on these strange lands on the other side of Atlantic, or the Black Atlantic. Mutatis mutandis, is it not always about the same diaspora?

Dreaming of an Island

This impressive photo installation of Magdalena Campos-Pons offers us an extraordinary opportunity to understand the African diaspora, often presented in books as a remote event. In this image, we see three possible shores where nostalgia, yearning and remembrance are headed. In which of those shores should we imagine the figure represented in the work to be, in this case the artist herself? A black Cuban woman dreaming of Africa from Cuba? Dreaming of the Africa of her ancestors from the shores of United States? Or dreaming of Cuba (or Afro-Cuba) from any place of the world? Some of the titles of the works and exhibitions of Magdalena give us the answer: When I am not here / estoy allá, (I am there) or Everything is Separated by Water. As a bundle of very long aquatic roots, the hair of the artist extends through the seas as a bridge, attempting to connect all those shores for good.

Year: 2008
Technique: Polaroid, Polacolour
Size: 20" x 24", 70.5 x 62 cm (each piece) 217 x 190 cm (overall size, composition of 9 Polaroid's)

Theme: identity migration