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IVANA GARCIA

By Ivana

Hi everyone! I’m Ivana, I’m from Argentina, and I’m a first year student from the Design Studies master program. My formal background is in business, I went to business school and worked in consulting firms such as Deloitte & Touche and small firms for the past six years, but my passion has always been art and design. I have a profound interest in the social world, which is why I’ve been involved with several Non-profit organizations ever since my high school years, and developed social business responsibility projects for the companies I was involved in.

My most significant work experience on a personal level was owning a multi-purpose space called “The Endless House” which mixed a little bit of gastronomy, art, design and music. There you could find pieces by some of the most promising Argentine contemporary artists, unique clothes and objects for sale at the store, and listen to performances by independent musicians. While working at The Endless house, I had the opportunity to meet designers, artists and musicians who taught me a different perspective of the world and it helped me realize in what field I wanted to work which is design. I fell in love with artists and designers and their process thinking, which is why I decided to come to Parsons to study design.

I love learning about other cultures and I have had the opportunity to visit several countries over the years. I went backpacking for a year through Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa and met people from all over the world. Visiting countries so different to my own was a life changing experience that taught me about the universality of communication.

I wanted to join this class because it combines my interests in Art, my passion for politics in Latin-America and social responsibility, and I am looking forward to learning more about this group of artists and how they expressed their grieve through Art.

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Valentina’s Bio

I am a visual anthropologist and research scholar at Parsons from Ca’ Foscari University in venice. My involvement with Guatemala dates back to the year 1999/2000, when I was living in Guatemala in order to carry on the fieldwork for my Philosophy Degree thesis. I got there after meeting in Venice, my home town, a Q’ueqchi’ indigenous woman who had been fighting in the guerrilla. For one year I lived in Nebaj and in the CPR (Communities of People in Resistance), in the so-called Ixil area. During this period I interviewed about 60 Ixil women who had enrolled in the EGP (Ejercito Guerrillero de los Pobres). I was accompanied by a young and smart Ixil woman, Helena, who had been a guerrilla fighter herself and was at the time 16 years old. The ex-fighters explained to us the reasons why they decided to enroll in the guerrilla and recalled their experience as “guerrilleras”. While the main corpus of interviews was handed in to an indigenous NGO formed by ex indigenous guerrilla leaders (FUNDAMAYA) what has gradually caught my interest and became my main research topic has been the relationship between non-indigenous and indigenous guerrilla fighters inside the EGP, and also between men and women. 

This experience has surely marked my life. Since then, despite I never went back to Guatemala, my focus of interest has been the space of relationship and encounter between indigenous and non-indigenous people, especially in Paraguay. As part of my PhD in visual anthropology, I made a documentary about the history of an indigenous community in Paraguay (Casado’s Legacy), that has toured around a variety of film festivals. My actual project is still focused in the same area, and it is related to the history of a tannin factory where indigenous and non-indigenous people have worked together for about 100 years.

I am still in contact with Helena and the ex-guerrilla leaders who work in FUNDAMAYA, and who are currently organizing an indigenous university in the Ixil area.