I am we. The endless journey. HD video loop
The African origin of modern humans has been estimated at 300,000 years ago, in Sub-Saharan Africa and the expansion of humanity went on to conquer all the inhabitable places on the planet. The most ancient remains of Homo sapiens have been found in East Africa. Supposing that is the original site of the species, all of us who live outside it are children of migration. The DNA of all modern humans is a mosaic built out of continual mixing.
Human movements are an extremely complex phenomenon which has very diverse causes and great political, environmental and social relevance. On the world level there are waves of emigrants fleeing from their places of origin, for many reasons, with the hope of finding a better life. According to the UN, there are 250 million migrants, 3.3% of the world population.
In 2014, due to an unprecedented social crisis in Venezuela, my country, I had to emigrate to Barcelona. Since then the fact of migration has become the central concern of my life. A few months ago I decided to investigate, by means of a study of my DNA, the origin of my ancestors. When I received the results of the analysis I understood the magnitude of the migratory process: in my genome practically all the regions of Earth are represented. My DNA contains information in it from 21 genetic groups.
By virtue of my present condition as an emigrant, I decided to undertake this project, which I have called Yo somos (I am we), and in which I want to highlight the diversity and mobility of the species and suggest a reflection on migration as a process constituting, since its origins. It attempts to bring into the open the subject of the impossibility of pure and immobile races, at the same time as it reveals human diversity, not only in cultures and nations, but down to the level of each individual.
By digitally overlaying portraits of people who, like me, have migrated to Barcelona from each of the places mentioned in the report on my DNA I did several series of images, videos and installations relating to the fact of migration and some of its consequences, playing with both science and metaphor.