Santos was born in 1940 in Mache District, Peru to Sara Mendoza and Olizandro Delgado.
Modesta was born in 1964 in Tejupilco, Mexico to Cristina Bautista and Sabas Aviles Trinidad.
Gotitas de sudor acumuladas entre mis senos. El ruido del ventilador que oscilaba de lado a lado. Circulando aire caliente, aire húmedo. En una silla se sentaba un radio, tocando un bolero, un son, un cha cha cha. Sus manos delicadamente rozaban mi espalda, mi cintura. Yo no sabía cómo dejarlo guiarme. Quizás él no me sabía guiar. En el espejo veíamos nuestros cuerpos moverse, nuestros cuerpos bailar, al ritmo del palmoteo del instructor, en el segundo piso de un edificio viejo en Centro Habana.
In Santiago people kiss. Publicly. The old and the young and the in-between. In the trains, in park benches, in grocery stores, in street corners, in bars, in restaurants, up against walls, laying in the grass. They put hands in each other’s pockets, whisper in each others ears, smile and hide their faces in each others necks. Public demonstrations of affection. Public demonstrations. Demonstrations. Like rebellious acts of love.
Me gusta lo cotidiano
La manera que la luz filtra por las cortinas
Las sombras de las hojas que bailan en mi pared
Los respiros de mi Lulú cuando duerme
El sabor salado de mis lagrimas
El romance de la rutina
La ansiedad en las mañanas
El hambre de medio día
La insomnia de la noche
Cuando no puedo dormir por pensar en lo que fue
Me gusta lo cotidiano
Banquetes literarios en los Domingos
Las risas únicas y distintas de las mujeres que amo
El agua que lava la tristeza
La piel que habito
Las caminatas diarias que hago con los ojos cerrados
Me gusta lo cotidiano
La manera que mis deditos mantienen tensos
Listos para lo imprevisto.
I arrived in Tuxtla Gutierréz, Chiapas, Mexico around midnight. As I sat in the back of a taxi, exhausted, the driver says “a girl like you shouldn’t be traveling alone, it’s dangerous.” It wasn’t the first time I had heard this. Gender-based violence is wide-spread in Latin America, a 2016 survey shows that out of the 25 countries with the highest rates of femicide in the world, 14 are from Latin America and the Caribbean. I closed my eyes and pressed my forehead against the window. Jokingly, I said that my parents had always told me the same maybe driving me to do quite the opposite, he laughed and said “entonces eres una chingona.”
The Suchiate River divides Ciudad Hidalgo, Chiapas, Mexico and Tecun Umán, Guatemala. A bridge connects these two cities, but you see the most movement underneath, where makeshift tire rafts are pushed back and forth all day without the vigilance of immigration officials or navy officers or the protocol of customs. The rafts often transport Central American migrants, many making the perilous journey North.
The air is hot and dry as I walk through the airport doors. I feel sweat drops on my lower back as I haul my backpack over my shoulder and make my way through a crowd of taxi drivers. As I wait for an Uber, I anxiously try to learn Arabic script in order to read the license plates. Cairo is exhausting, it’s masculine, loud, fast. Women in hijabs and burkas passed me by, they could have easily gone unnoticed if it wasn’t for their eyes, watchful and attentive, sometimes warm, wrinkled eyes as indicators of a hidden smile. Cairo is a megacity, with a metropolitan population of over 20 million people, but as I walked through el'arafa (City of the Dead) everything was still, the Necropolis was the quiet counterpart to a bustling downtown. While staying in a hostel in the city center, the noise became a buzzing in my ear, I would fall asleep with the frantic sound of car honks and I’d wake up with the calls to prayer. When I wondered the streets past midnight I saw the streets flooded with life, the summer heat becomes tolerable and people are eager for contact. I walked through a maze of markets that never seemed to end. Cairo is an organized madness, logical chaos.
I woke up before you this morning. The night before we clumsily built our tent in the darkness, the waterfall rumbled loudly and we couldn’t see past the few feet our camping headlights illuminated. I wanted to set up camp closer to the beginning of the trail, I was afraid of the impending darkness after dusk, but you said “let’s keep going a bit further” and you encouraged me to go forth, you talked me past scary climbs and slippery rocks, you were there the whole time, you carried my weight, you held my hand, you’ve always been brave bordering on reckless. I woke up before you this morning. I stared at you sleep, cocooned inside your sleeping bag, hair greasy and mouth slightly open. I slipped out of the tent quietly. We were surrounded by walls of rock, we were so alone with the exception of the giant cactus that stood guard, tall and ancient. It was cold under the shade so I made my way across the stream to a patch of sand already blessed with the warmth of the morning sunlight. I grabbed our gas stove and boiled water from the stream, I slipped off my clothes and with a canteen cup I bathe. I woke up before you this morning. When you arose, you found me naked on a blanket. We exchanged few words, you sparked the stove and took a bath. I looked at you stretch, much like I had done for over 7 years, you felt me photographing you but you ignored the camera, much like you had done for over 7 years. We made love, we ate, we packed up our tent. I woke up before you this morning.
It was winter in the Southern Hemisphere, but in Santiago, snow is a rare sighting. I flew into a snow dusted city. The Andes stood out, beautifully dipped in white. I was dropped off at an apartment I had rented, these old buildings were not built to insulate heat, it was cold and all I had was an electric heater which I quickly plugged into the wall and waited until it warmed my bedroom.
What: " Cuba - Decades Apart"
Cuba photographed in 2016 by Camila Bernal and in 1997 by John Kennard
Where: Pearl Street Gallery
100 Pearl Street
Chelsea, MA 02150
When: Opening reception will be on February 25th from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m
Details: This event is free / open to the public and handicap accessible.
RSVP, driving / mbta info and alternative gallery hours at: