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In the center of the work are old shoes who belonged to a child tied together by their laces. They hang from a rusted piece of barbed wire. The background is full of dead and dried wildlife. Broken bricks and terracotta roofing can be seen on the right side. The photograph is very dull and focuses on the shoes. Nothing is happening. It is an intimate moment between the viewer and the history implied.

What I Could've Been

Victor Luis Garcia


Attending the University of Michigan is a privilege and studying Art and Design is a luxury. As a Queer Chicano born and raised on the South-West Side of Chicago, I have always been told about where I come from but never had the chance to see mi país. For the first time, I was able to visit my hometown in the middle of nowhere México. In Capide Guererro, running water is new to the community, there is limited access to electricity, and there are no gas stoves. The dirt roads are endless and overgrown wildlife slowly consumes the chain-link fences and aged houses. The small one-room school my grandma attended until 3rd grade was in the backyard of her friend’s home. The school was broken down and abandoned. The only signs of life are shoes tied by the laces hanging from barbed wire. I am a third-generation immigrant. Born in America, Devoted to México. I am the living dream mis abuelos had when they left their lives behind and crossed the border, hoping for anything better. From a third-grade dropout to an upperclassman in college, my family started off with nothing and I have the power to give them everything.