Platform Americas: Artist Ana Teresa Fernández; Colombia Tourism; Cuban Entrepreneurship
Platform Americas explores the artistic, cultural, business, and political connections — and disconnections — between the Americas.
In Episode 1, Mexican-American artist Ana Teresa Fernández talks about borders, gender, identity, and her superwoman outfit (note: stiletto heels). Colombian Amb. Juan Carlos Pinzón is on a mission to tell a new story about his country, and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper talks trade and reawakens his entrepreneurial roots on a visit to Cuba.
Ana Teresa Fernández: Making the unseen visible, and vice versa
Mexican-American artist Ana Teresa Fernández talks about borders, gender, identity, and her superwoman outfit (note: stiletto heels).
On her most famous work, painting portions of the existing border wall between the U.S. and Mexico:
Fernández: Family members from all over Latin America, the U.S. and Canada come and meet here… to see their family members and their loved ones after having been separated for 20 or 30 years. So they used to come and hug and embrace. In 2011, a metal fence was placed on the wall, like train tracks on top of it. So they could not longer touch, could have absolutely no physical contact with their loved one.
On “Erasure,” her installation of videos and paintings in the Mi Tierra exhibition at the Denver Art Museum:
Fernández: Who has value?... In rural Mexico these 43 students, who had been studying to become teachers, were about to go protest, which is a right that we all have. Suddenly they were not only silenced but made to disappear. And so for me it's like I was just disappearing into this blackness as a protest of, well, questioning the value of my life.
Tourism in Colombia
Colombia should now be on your vacation bucket list -- as well as a place for business investments, says Amb. Juan Carlos Pinzón, on a visit to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. In the wake of a historic peace treaty, no longer is the country one of the most violent places in the world. The governor discusses immigrants and promotes a “win-win” trade policy.
On Colombia crime, which is the lowest its been in 40 years:
Pinzón: I remember 20 years ago being hostage in our cities, or being victims of terrorism of the FARC. Those people who were really in the drug trade, or terrorists-- they’d kill people, kill family, including mine.
On Colombia tourism today:
Hickenlooper: So you're riding a bicycle through this beautiful green lush landscape and then you stay and have wonderful meals. It’s organized by entrepreneurs who 20 years ago could not leave their home safely in the evenings because of the violence. And they fixed it.
On a fragile peace:
Pinzón: We need to make this peace sustainable and bring prosperity out of it. That's the challenge we have now. We'll need to work very hard.
Hickenlooper in Cuba and more
A visit with up-and-coming Denver actor Gabriel Morales, who was born in Mexico; the music of Colombian band Bomba Estereo, which performed at the 2015 Biennial of the Americas festival; and more from the governor’s trip to Cuba.