What’s another word for survival? : Lorena Cruz Santiago, Adrián García, Valeria Montoya, Mateo Vargas & Martín Wannam

Promo image with video stills

Sin Cinta Previa + Chuquimarca are proud to present the second and last online feature and artists panel of video-art submissions from the SCP+C Open Call

What’s another word for survival?

Lorena Cruz Santiago, Adrián García, Valeria Montoya, Mateo Vargas & Martín Wannam

Watch What’s another word for survival? at https://sincintaprevia.com
Join us for an artists panel on Sat.,Dec. 19, 2020; 6:30pm MST / 7:30pm CST / 8:30pm EST
Zoom Registration: https://bit.ly/33e78QV


How are you? How do you feel? How’s your family doing? How are you coping with the pandemic? These questions, life lines, and check-ins have become vital to our survival. But survival seems a strange word these days. Survival is not the same as “to survive” or “surviving” which sound more present tense, more actual, now, and ongoing. Amidst this never-ending pandemic, an attack on our livelihoods, our friends and family, our economic stability, our sense of place and the solvency of our communities remains in question. We’re all just trying to keep it together. Trying to survive.

But, really though, how are our peoples doing? Our peoples, be they Central American kin, our immigrant families, our vulnerable indigenous communities across North America, or our various Latinx diaspora in the US. How are we doing across the Americas? How are we coping with these legacies of colonialism revived in the weaponization of illness against our peoples?

And what is felt, known, unspoken and perhaps forgotten in this survival mode? As the pandemic rages and we all recover our vision from the slow motion train wreck and sudden whiplash of the recent US election; what questions and concerns, what hopes and fears linger in our hearts from a time, if we can imagine, before COVID-19? What were the major issues concerning our varied communities prior to “the election”? What was on our mind before the lockdowns and quarantines?

Responding to our Open Call from February 2020, this second round of awardees resound as a defiant response to the various systems of oppression that mark our peoples. From gender defiance, spiritual plains of resistance, indigenous language and knowledge systems, and other survival tactics such as performance, walking, rituals and fire, these works animate our feelings and concerns. Ranging from Guatemala, Mexico and through to the US, these videos echo non-binary, queer, feminists and indigenous methods of resistance and healing.

This exceptional group of artists use the craft of their hands, lens, eyes, body, time and performance to cause us to pause. They make us ask, “How do you say ‘what do we need’?” in our mother tongues. We thank and celebrate Lorena Cruz Santiago, Adrián García, Valeria Montoya, Mateo Vargas and Martin Wannam. We thank them for submitting their art during a pandemic. For having hope in our world enough to share themselves. We thank them for reminding us to fully feel and hold on to our emotions. To revel in their perpetual questions of self. Their questioning may drive us through the turmoil of today’s limited survival toward tomorrow’s fight for a more equitable and inclusive world.

Jose Luis Benavides
Sin Cinta Previa
November 20, 2020


This is the last accepted project proposal submitted from the SCP+C Open Call 2020 program juried by Malia Haines-Stewart, Giselle Mira-Diaz and Santiago X, supported by the Propeller Fund.

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Lorena Cruz Santiago is a Mexican-American artist from Northern California, currently based in Detroit, MI. She received her BFA in Photography from Sonoma State University in 2016 and her MFA in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2019. Through an interdisciplinary practice that spans photography, video, and painting, she investigates post-colonial theory and decolonization. lorenacruzsantiago.com @lorenacruzz

Adrián García (b. 1990, León, México) is a filmmaker and stop motion animator. His practice thinks of animation as an atomization of time, a mindful contemplation of the connections between an instant and eternity in the embodiment we call duration. He completed his master in visual and critical studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019 with a thesis on the material culture of grieving. He currently teaches audiovisual production in Tecnológico de Monterrey León Campus. vimeo.com/utopicks/ @exmoamadis

Valeria Montoya practices urban walking as a tool to think about the political, somatic and imaginative possibilities of site specific art making, and curatorial practice. She is still learning to walk. Born as a Mexican Latina Woman, 1983, she also founded The Lab Program: Art Research and Art Mobility Network based in Mexico City in 2017, as a space to develop an artistic understanding of the cultural entanglements in which contemporary Mexican culture navigates.valeriaxmontoya.tumblr.com/ @valerialalalele/

Mateo Vargas (b. 1993) is a queer non-binary Mexican-American writer, photographer, filmmaker, performance and visual artist whose multi-media work focuses on the intersections and fractures of identity, borders, and diaspora under the dual legacies of colonialism and late-stage capitalism. Their video art has screened in festivals and galleries in the United States, Mexico, Japan, Colombia, Cuba, Argentina, Germany, Greece, Italy and France. vimeo.com/mate0vargas @_mateo_vargas

Martín Wannam (b. 1992, Guatemala) is a visual artist whose work utilizes photography, performance, and sculpture to disrupt the meaning of religion, folklore, and western beauty standards. Through the critical lenses of history, gender, sexuality, and race he challenges his own cultural background and deconstructs and disrupts the hegemony of religion as his own gesture of political resistance. martinwannam.com @martinwannamremix

Sin Cinta Previa: Latin(a)x & Queer Archive Video Series Established in 2018,  is a screening and discussion series which archives the polyvocal, multi-ethnic and plural gendered experiences, moving images and video-art works of Latinx artists from across the Americas and Caribbean. With a special interest in video artists, film essayists, experimental filmmakers and documentarians, SCP specifically highlights the historic and contemporary contributions to political and artistic resistance in moving image made by queer, trans, non-binary, women, indigenous, Afro-descendant, and diasporic peoples across the Western Hemisphere. SinCintaPrevia.com #sincintaprevia

Chuquimarca is a library project space focused on the Native, Mexican, Caribbean, and Central and South American contemporary art and culture discourse in Chicago. Chuquimarca.com, IG/FB:@chuquimarca.projects

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