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The following relates to an exhibition at the Dallas Area Campus of Ana G. Méndez University System. It features photography documenting the artist Amara Abdal Figueroa’s journey learning about bioremediative practices in Puerto Rico after her return to the island in December 2017.

The exhibition runs through November 14th, 2018

Curator Sofía Bastidas:

“The university contacted me to curate a show. I thought of Amara because her work is timely to our current state of affairs and climate crisis.

Showing her work in a bilingual university that is also from Puerto Rico is important because it contributes to expanding the dialogue in the diaspora and to Puerto Rico’s current lack of governmental support; I’d say that the crisis comes from austerity measures though is heightened significantly by the hurricane and the negligence in restoring the island after the natural disaster and the effects this has caused. By focusing on practical alternatives, clay water filtration and generating top soil via food waste fermentation, in a setting where these routines are overlooked with the urgency relevant to the island, brings to the surface the need for clean water and organic waste management back in Puerto Rico. Putting this work in such a setting foments diversity of thought.” 

Amara Abdal Figueroa:

“Despite Puerto Rico being a colony, the land grab has been happening slowly. This is it accelerating. 

Desperately leaving the island just as similarly to how my mom had to leave Kuwait when she was pregnant with me, has a large ripple effect. 

[Ana G. Mendez] is this institution of private information, but I think that’s where this information needs to come. I think that if this specific work was only in an arts space, or imagine it being in an art landscape, we’re saying the same thing to the same people that know we need to be doing these things. I don’t think many Puerto Ricans here want to ferment their food waste, or see how that can be a solution can be presented to certain parts of Puerto Rico. How can we have the conversations with the people that either know these things or have seen them?”


photos: William Sarradet

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