IMMIGRANT COLOMBIAN WOMEN

 

This portrait series signifies the importance of the migration of Colombian women throughout the last decades and present day. Emigration from Colombia is one of the largest in volume in Hispanic America. The population movement in recent years toward North America and Europe, in particular, has been motivated in some cases by the threat of violence but more typically by the search for greater economic opportunity. 

I wanted to show dignity, richness, beauty and strength as well as let the viewer know the importance of empowering Latino American women after their arrival. Often, they search for equality and respect. In many cases, their migration leads them to feel freer and empowered. However, what my perception has captured is that the words "Colombian" and "immigrants" have already an impression in one's mind as if they are expected to be in a certain way. 

Being myself a Colombian immigrant woman led my interest to pay tribute to these women I know as driven, hard workers, educated and compassionate. 

For a long time, the North has often gazed the south through a lens which distorts the reality of the continent's people and it's history. In the current wave of Latino immigrants to the North, these preconceived notions and stereotyping unfortunately often remain and are fueled by a lack of knowledge, understanding and the fear of the unknown.

Some of the comments I’ve heard about the series make remarks about their appearance, their makeup, and their hair.  I invite you to look beyond their look and to imagine their lives. 

They all have different stories but what they have in common is their decision to come to Canada to face the unknown, to embrace the change, to emerge in a new culture and different languages in hope of a better life. 

These women make part of the Colombian brain drain. They all live in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. They are your doctors, your secretaries, your artists, your students, your social workers, your psychologists, your computer technicians, your engineers and your friends.