I am a Mediterranean-American interdisciplinary artist working in film, photography, visual art and dance. My work celebrates the universal thread that binds our human experience as it examines the fine line between presence and absence, wholesomeness and brokenness, past, present and future. My work dives into themes of identity, spirituality, systemic racism and collective memory with colorful hope, while reflecting upon the beauty and vulnerability of human existence.


Artist Statement:

ALTARS Live is a two-fold interdisciplinary production that blends dance, spoken word, art song and community. On one hand, it's a short film that I've written, directed and produced locally in Boston thanks to the Radical Imagination for Racial Justice grant by the City of Boston, Cambridge Arts and the LAB grant by the Boston Foundation. The short film negotiates a space between darkness - dehumanization, erasure, violence and trauma - and light - life, truth, empowerment, community, and love - as it follows a family on a day that will change their life forever. Altars Live will exist as both this short film, and a live experience in which we'll spotlight extraordinary BIPOC artists in Boston. The piece is meant to be either shared digitally (the recording has now been produced) as a series, or as as an in-person performance and screening. A Q&A with the artists will follow the event as well to engage the community in conversation.

As gentrification is quickly taking over several neighborhoods in Boston including my home in East Boston, and as a woman who is married to a black man and who has witnessed, like so many of us, countless unpleasant and uncalled for encounters with the local police, and who feels the fragility of our survival in this country on a daily basis, I aim for this piece to evoke our shared humanity and connectedness, but most of all the urgency and need to act now in a poetic, visually compelling manner.

This production will serve as a collective healing exercise as we reimagine the future while acknowledging and honoring the past. But our efforts go beyond the production of this stand-alone performance piece, as we plan to use it as a catalyst for conversation and community engagement.

We will offer free screenings of the film in different neighborhoods in Boston, along with performances by exceptional local artists including Grammy-nominated Phillip Young, Boston's first Youth Poet Laureate Alondra Bobadilla, Krump Champion and winner of Season 6 "So You Think You Can Dance" Russell "Gutta" Ferguson, Boston Ballet dancer My'Kal Stromile and Brazilian dance ensemble SambaViva.

If funded, we will use the grant to properly compensate all collaborators and our technical and creative crew, renting the space and gear to make the production happen as well as putting together a live experience that can be shared with Boston audiences. In the budget section, I've specified two different format options with their corresponding budget - either one main in-person event where we screen the film and our local artists offer live, in-person performances, or a series of 5 virtual screenings of the preexisting recording of ALTARS Live (including 5 performances and short film screening). Both will offer a live Q&A with the artists after the event.

Being able to create a meaningful, high quality visual and conceptual piece that will not only serve to employ, elevate and highlight local talent, but also contribute to furthering the conversation on racial justice will make this project a success.

After living in the United States for over a decade and becoming the first American citizen in my family, I strive to navigate the complexities of my identity, my heritage and my reality as a woman, a female artist in a male-dominated industry and an immigrant turned new citizen. I feel like my story of transformation and understated bravery is a reflection of the fabric of many communities in Boston and particularly East Boston, where I currently reside.

Much of my recent work is focused on cultural preservation and on envisioning hope, healing, unity and agency to foster social transformation. As someone who has produced work mostly in places other than my home, this production would fit right into my journey as an artist and as a human being and would allow me to better position myself as a change agent in the Arts here at home in Boston.

With an aim to battle the “danger of a single story,” we strive for “Altars” to contribute a poetic, nuanced, compelling and fresh perspective to the conversation on racial justice in Boston and in the United States as a whole.

Project Description:

With ALTARS Live, we're engaging and honoring BIPOC communities at every stage: all of our collaborators in front and behind the lens identify as BIPOC, and our screenings aim to not only inspire, heal and elevate local BIPOC communities, but also to engage the larger Boston audience in conversation so that we may activate and sustain change as a community/society.