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Ferrera-Balanquet, Raul

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Digital access to this material is pending artist's approval. Materials may be viewed onsite at the Goldsen Archive, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Kroch Library, Cornell University.

New media and information technologies have been a blessing for my creative process. Since my youth, I have practiced several art forms including drawing, performance, writing, media arts, dance, photography, installation and theater. With the birth of new media, I have been able to bridge these expressions and create unique art objects that are closer to my multimedia self. After 1980, when I migrated to the United States, a process of remembering forced me to produce my artwork at the same time I was building a very strong notion of my ancestors and my present social realities. The type of cultural isolation I experienced at the University of Iowa forced me to dig into my cultural heritage and my experience as a Cuban in exile. In spite of the absence of Latino Art classes, I solved that gap researching at the school's library and attending workshops sponsored by Women Against Racism. I was lucky to attend a class on Latin American Cinema conducted by film historian Ana Maria Lopez who was, at that time, studying a PhD at the university. It was then that I understood the difficulties I was having trying to articulate my experiences in the context of Iowa and the United States and the social and cultural conditions of people of color.

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