Art projects

Papel de seda

Papel de seda

Analía Beltrán i Janés

This project to be developed in my hometown Vila-real (Castellón) connects with two of my lines of work and research: memory and women in society. Both concepts are intimately linked, as my identity (as a Spanish woman, worker, mother, daughter, partner, artist) is defined by what women from previous generations have experienced and achieved. Therefore, the concept of memory is inseparable from that of identity.

The project aims to continue researching in this direction and to create a link with the memory of the city where I was born and, by extension, with the region and more particularly with the women of the place from my own experience, as they all have some experience with work in the orchards.

Remembering and taking action. My performance art always connects with memory, especially childhood memories. It's not about an idealized childhood, but an analysis where I observe what things have changed and what has remained constant, and therefore, it's also an analysis of the passage of time, not as an abstract concept but as a historical concept.

In my work, I often refer to folk tales because in them we find a symbolic reflection of reality and, curiously, certain concepts and situations have hardly changed throughout history. For example, the archetype of the poor woman who has to seek sustenance for her family is present. In the performance I propose, there is that point of metaphor that refers to women's work in rural areas, without turning it into a pamphlet or a series of slogans. I believe that, just like in fairy tales, the message reaches more directly to emotions through what is intuited. I don't intend to create a work that is solely activist; I also seek its poetic and aesthetic charge.

"Women have always worked outside the home, but capitalism has made their work invisible, relegating them to subordinate and poorly paid roles. It is crucial to recognize and value women's work in all areas, as it constitutes the very basis of social and economic reproduction." (Silvia Federici)

This piece addresses my childhood experience of hearing references to work in the orange warehouses among the women of my town. Hard work, poorly paid, but at the same time creating a sort of sisterhood among them because they were all women. The men who worked in the warehouses held positions of authority.

Why is a girl's memory important? I didn't know the reality of that work structure then; I was never taken to an orange warehouse. But I spent a lot of time in a female environment, that of my grandmother and aunts, playing around, listening to conversations, and capturing situations, feelings, in a more direct and uncontaminated way than an adult mind would. I now combine that diving into memories with a more objective knowledge, a study of data on work in the fields and subsequent processing of citrus fruits, and about life in a village. And, by extension, what women's work in rural areas entails, not only in our country but worldwide in the context of capitalist and postcolonial epistemic violence. Trying to give relevance to subalternity, as Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak defines it, as a social and political position that limits individuals' ability to express themselves and be understood.

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