I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I had an unusual childhood since I developed a hearing disability, had difficulty communicating, and spent most of my time either dreaming, creating, or playing with animals. My mother is a choreographer whose dance still serves as my main inspiration for being an artist. I spent most of my childhood in her dance studio or creating. In 2003 I underwent an operation that recovered my hearing.
The economic collapse of the Argentine economy in 2001 was one of the most influential events in my life. My family shortly moved to Philadelphia, where we currently reside. Immigrating sparked an awareness about the impact political conflict on individuals. Ever since, I’ve felt a strong conviction for social change. I spoke up during class and skipped class in 8th grade in order to attend an anti-war protest. During high school, I organized with Coalition for Peace Action, Gay Straight Alliance, and Students for a Democratic Society.
During high school I was relentless and passionate about generating my art. Thankfully, my conviction for my art and work-ethic paid off: I earned a Full Tuition Merit Scholarship at Tyler School of Art, where I went to college.
Shortly after entering college, I found myself on the Brooklyn Bridge watching hundreds of activists getting arrested. That day the Occupy movement went viral and I felt motivated to travel all over the country in order to attend protests. Unfortunately, I didn’t know much about organizing and was very ineffective. I attended countless protests, failed to change anything, burned-out, and quit protesting in order to focus on my art. I was receiving opportunities to display my work and felt that my work should be priority.
During my last year of art school, I generated a body of work about the deaparecidos, a series of 30,000 civilians who disappeared during Argentina’s military dictatorship. I received the Dean’s Grant for Student Research from Tyler School of art in order to produce portraits of the desaparecidos on glass. I exhibited these pieces at the Embassy of Argentina, Georgian Court University, and Philadelphia City Hall.
After graduation, the documentary Earthlings and Bernie Sanders inspired me to return to organizing. I knocked on hundreds of doors for the Bernie campaign and cried when he lost. After the primary, I was hired as Civic Engagement Coordinator at PICC, where I organized volunteers to register 3,500 New Americans to vote and make 10,800 GOTV phone calls. After the election, I worked for another organization where I gave presentations to almost 5,000 students about the impact of their food choices.
I’m finally starting to feel like an effective organizer, but I understand that most activists are unsuccessful in driving social change. Right now, the left is failing because we’re making critical mistakes that are preventing us from success, and I am determined to change that. We need to reflect on what tactics are working, how we can change our tactics, and how we can use creativity to dismantle all forms of systematic oppression. I aim to inspire the spectator into political action through my art and help activists/organizers develop more creative approaches.
In order to discuss these topics in depth, I’m self-publishing “Blueprint for Creative Dissent,” an eBook that anyone can download for free on July 21st. More info coming soon!