January 27, 2020
Mayela Rodriguez (MFA ‘19) has been awarded a We Women Photo grant for her proposed project “MI Voz”. The We Women Photo grant is framed as “an opportunity to shape a national conversation about problems, solutions, and how to find common ground.”
In anticipation of the 2020 election, “MI Voz” will be a yearlong series of cartonera workshops with Michigan’s Latinx communities exploring the question “what is my political power?”. Participants will answer this question by compiling books of original and sampled materials, creatively engaging their own and others’ ideas of political power, social justice, and institutional reform. Participants’ books will be bound with cardboard covers, alluding to the tradition of Latin American cartoneras, a book form that makes publishing and distribution more accessible. “MI Voz” will culminate in an online, multimedia collection of the participant-made cartoneras, increasing the reach and impact of the project beyond the physical workshops.
Mayela received her MFA from Stampst in 2019. Her work reimagines institutional critique as a collective, inclusive, and healing process for Latinx communities. By facilitating the production of community-made collections, she seeks to remind participants of the inherent power of their creative voices in making change. Most recently, Mayela has worked on collaborative projects with Latinx communities in Ann Arbor, Michigan and New Cuyama, California.