“Letters from My Exile” pairs portraits and letters from people that endured the sacrifice of migration under difficult circumstances.
Featuring: Diana Bejarano
Miguel Angel Valderrama
“Letters from My Exile” is a participatory art project that pairs portraits and letters that tell the story of people who have endured tremendous sacrifice in their quest for a better life. Addressed to family members, the letters talk about forced family separation and feelings of distance and loss experienced by migrants. The project explores the core concept of family through distance, memory and absences, as experienced by immigrants in New York City who are unable to return to their country of origin and of people that have endured a forced family separation cause by immigration policies.
I am a Colombian photographer and visual artist living in Queens, New York. In my artistic practice I use photography, mixed media and video with a documentary approach to speak about current social issues. I am extremely moved by people’s stories of struggle and injustices as well as courage and strength — stories that encompass our human condition and our resilience. My recent work has been focused on issues dealing with immigration and forced family separation. I regularly work on projects focused on communities and collaborate with nonprofit organizations to develop socially engaged projects. Through my work, I hope to raise awareness and tolerance through the language of art. My work has been part of exhibitions in New York City and Colombia.