Thursday, 02 March 2023 15:15

Interview with Sonia Guiñansaca: Queer Migrant Poet, Cultural Organizer and Activist (2018)

Interview with Sonia Guiñansaca: Queer Migrant Poet, Cultural Organizer and Activist (2018) HIDVL
Marlène Ramírez-Cancio, Associate Director at NYU's Hemispheric Institute, talks with 2017-18 Artist in Residence Sonia Guiñansaca about their work, creative process, and cultural organizing for undocumented immigrants. Motivated by the lack of political change for migrants, Guiñansaca emerged as a national leader in the migrant artistic and political communities where they coordinated and participated in groundbreaking civil disobedience actions. Frustrated with the limited narratives about migration policy, Guiñansaca's organizing gave a voice to darker-skinned women/queer migrants and undocumented peoples. Their direct action work involved infiltrating an Alabama detention center and coordinating anti-deportation campaigns. Recognizing the trauma that comes with organizing and movement work, they moved towards cultural work. "You can't have policy change with cultural change." With the projects Dreaming in Ink and UndocuMic's, Guiñansaca focused on cultural initiatives by and for undocumented artists.


"Sonia Guiñansaca is a Queer Migrant Poet, Cultural Organizer, and Activist from Harlem by way of Ecuador. Guiñansaca is a VONA/Voices alumni who has performed at El Museo Del Barrio, The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, NY Poetry Festival, Galería de La Raza, and has been featured on NBC, PBS, Latina Magazine, Pen American, and the Poetry Foundation, to name a few. They have presented keynotes, workshops, panels at universities throughout the country. They have been named as 1 of 10 Up and Coming Latinx Poets You Need to Know by Remezcla, as well as one of 13 Coolest Queers on the Internet by Teen Vogue. In 2017, they were announced as Artist in Residency at NYU's Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics. They have emerged as a national leader in the undocumented/migrant artistic and political communities. In 2007, Guiñansaca came out publicly as an undocumented immigrant. Since then they have co-founded and help build some of the largest undocumented organizations in the country, coordinating and participating in groundbreaking civil disobedience actions in the immigrant rights movement. They have also founded some of the first creative artistic projects by and for undocumented writers/artists. Currently they are working on their full length poetry manuscript on migration, queerness, and their change in immigration status from undocumented to documented. They are the Managing Director of CultureStrike."


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