I am a queer and trans first generation Venezuelan-American. My work primarily deals with the decolonization of archives through community intervention and personal narrative. This body of work explores the Queer experience through a diasporic lens. Using aspects of rituals that are native to Venezuela in tandem with community archiving, I create a space for collective healing and memory.
Gino Romero (they/them/theirs)
Oftentimes in archives, cultural materials are removed from all context, with this work, I create a living archive that is built for and by its users and contextualized within a cultural language of Queerness, spiritual practice, and historical ephemera.
As Queer people, we have often lived at the margins of society and have had to create our own culture and practices. Historically, Queer people have created space where there was none. During the 70s and 80s, we saw the proliferation of Queer culture, such as ballroom, Queer language, and even mourning rituals. I became particularly interested in Queer mourning rituals, as this suggested some kind of Queer practice or spirituality. Inspired by Ephemera as Evidence by José Esteban Muñoz, this body of work incorporates aspects of Venezuelan spiritual practice with Queer archival and mourning practices to imagine what a Queer centered practice can look like. How can we as Queer people honor our ancestors? How can we petition them for guidance? What does Queer as practice look like?