Hi everyone, my name is Thamara Hidalgo. My work focuses on the place of women in migration. Having myself migrated from Venezuela to Europe as a child, my research questions cultural hybridity, myth, territory, memory and the multiple narratives present in it. One of the main topics of my research is the question what remains of one's country of origin when one settles in a new territory. To answer this question, I meet women who also have experienced non-European migration to Europe. During these interviews I ask my interlocutors to present some of the objects they brought with them. After a quick physical description, the stories often focus on memories and deep and complex relationships. Epistemologically, banality is opposed to heroism by a wall that we are trying to break down here.
Each interview is filmed. The camera is focused on the narrator's hands. These images then allow me to create an abstract collage. These realizations, with a visual aspect strongly related to the digital realm stress the importance of the digital during migration: Internet facilitates to stay in contact with one's family and one's close relations, but also to follow the news and current events of the country that one left. This analogy between stories, memory, migration and the digital allows the creation of an interlude out of time, religiously preserving these stories.
These collages are then printed on silk scarves, light and pleasant to wear. The textile creation takes a great place in my work. Following the interviews with these women, I also create a sensory and abstract rug for each, that I sculpt using a technique called tufting. For me, migration and textiles have an interesting link. Carpets, voluminous and cumbersome, are the element that transforms a house into a home. I therefore link them with the post-migration situation. While the scarves, which have a utilitarian function and can be easily carried away, are more related to migration as such.
The last part of my research is related to speculative narrative. Very recently I have been interested in writing and creating new myths. For this I searched for Venezuelan Venuses and came across the story of the Venus of Tacarigua. She is a pre-Hispanic Venus (before the arrival of the Europeans in South America). This idol, whose history is linked to migration, is today part of the Venezuelan culture; there is a monument to her in Maracay and she is present on the five bolívar bill. This Venus brought me to two big questions: What would be the place of this Venus in the Venezuelan culture if the Europeans had not colonized the country? And, who is the deity, entity, goddess, that protects those who migrate? This last question then pushed me to create a first version of a tale introducing a protective Venus during migration. My writing explores different voices. I try to mix my story with those of others, to mix languages and temporalities. This research is as much in the writing as in the form and the support given to the text. This tale is accompanied by a tapestry mounted on a frame, representing the Venus of Tacarigua. She is sitting on a throne in the middle of a luxuriant nature.
Thamara Hidalgo's work focuses on the place of women in migration. Having migrated from Venezuela to Europe as a child, her research questions cultural hybridity, myth, territory, memory and the multiple narratives present in it.