Regresar a casa a desmembrar monumentos. Come Back Home to Dismember Monuments

Emilio Rojas in collaboration with mother, Sonia Balcazar 

Location: Mexico City, Mexico

Project Description: I’ve been living abroad in Vancouver, Canada for the past four years. I come back every Christmas to find that the room in my house, is kept intact, almost like a museum. It is the only thing from my past in Mexico , that hasn’t changed. As a migrant, it is always an uncanny experience to come back to your country to visit your family. You are caught between the memories of the past, peoples expectations of what the North has done to you and the reality of the present experience. Everything has changed, people have died and the city has transformed. My room is preserved as a monument of my absence, a shrine to who I used to be. A blend of encapsulated childhood memoirs, vintage clothing, teenager curiosities, my first artistic attempts and my bicycle  standing in the middle of the room. Everything is preserved as if  I never left,  as if by doing so I will return and be the same person I was before I emigrated. Is almost as if I had died and time had stopped. Talking to other migrants that share a similar experience, I’ve decided that on Sunday the 18th , in collaboration with my mother,  I will clear the space so that it becomes useful to my family again. I will donate the contents to different organization that need them, dispersing them around the city.  Embarking in this self-introspective journey with my mother  through places which we share a common history.  This project is a part of a series in collaboration with my mother,Sonia Balcazar.  That has, for the past two years, involved dealing with language, translation, history, trauma, displacement, memory, traditions and migration. The piece will be documented with video and it will involve different participants throughout the day. People can call my mother’s cellphone to locate us in Mexico City and be part of  the piece and can talk to her about their own experience with migration.

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