Artist’s Statement: This Fall, I have developed a creative research project to work on my novella, Silk Skin. The narrative follows two Mexican-Americans—a mother named Lorena and her daughter Adela—who welcome two migrants from Tijuana to their home. Adela’s kinship with the Tijuanenses challenge previous relationships as memories resurface of a monstrous figure who might be making mysterious noises at home.
To develop this creative project, in collaboration with Migratory Times, the Center for Arts Design & Social Research, and my faculty mentor (Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima), I organized a series entitled Migratory Monsters. The series fostered research through conversations with artists and scholars Kakyoung Lee, Rebecca Close, Dr. Angela Marie Smith, and Diana Tran. Here I fostered my own creative research project grappling with diaspora and representations of Othered identities in the context of horror. Horror exposes institutional oppression. How do we further employ horror tropes to liberate transnational identities? How do we abandon normative, untroublesome narratives?
We held the events “Visions of Monstrosity,” and “The Body and Horror.” Speakers discussed the corporeal, erasure, and the complexity of liberating oneself from colonial constraints.
The piece’s title, Silk Skin, emphasizes the creation of self through unconsumed subjects. I also reference a vital scene in the story which apprehends complacency in Utah by stripping an antagonist’s sense of security and literal skin.
I realized I needed to bring forth Lorena’s voice through poems. Lorena, herself an immigrant from Tijuana, engages with Samara, the monster. Diaspora consists not of homogenized experiences but of distinct, diverse voices which are often ignored. In these poems, Lorena’s voice investigates her heritage and history while also claiming space.