raul ferrera balanquet

Sunday, November 7, 7 pm.

Nelson Mandela Auditorium, Fedex Global Education Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC.


Memories at the Crossroads: Raul Moarquech Ferrera-Balanquet

Total Running Time: 63 min.

Ferrera-Balanquet’s creative trajectory interrogates immigration, mestizaje, cultural/sexual identity, and desire to develop an audiovisual language encompassing the violent clashes of his personal experiences against the sociological landscape of Cuba, the United States and Mexico. He brings the audiovisual discourse to a historical level, tracing a composite portrait of the diverse roots of his hybrid diasporic self and traveling to deeper levels of the subconscious where the reconstruction of these experiences allows him to free from the oppressions stored in his social and personal body.

> Nubes Soleadas at the Crossroads. (Cuba/Mexico/USA, 1996) 28 min.

A recollection of fragmented memories from childhood to the present are intercut with historical and fictional events to reconstruct the exile self of a Cuban immigrant. After years in the exile, Ernesto wants to understand how his emotional instability is linked to the present. Colliding, juxtaposing, spinning from and jumping into different levels of narrative, the video creates a layering of images recreating the accumulation of experience and the multiplicity of the self forced by the exile. Shot in Havana, Cuba; Merida, Yucatan/Mexico; Chicago and Iowa City, United States.


> Merida Poscrita. Raul Ferrera-Balanquet and Enrique Novelo Cascante, (Cuba/Mexico/USA, 1990) 7 min.

When one of the lovers refuses to kiss, a narrative unfold exploring the past of the characters, the imposition of heterosexual roles in Latino men’s relationships, classism and the archeology of desire.

> Olufina Abuela Balanquet (1995). Video Art, 4 min., color

An altar to Shango, the Yoruba deity of the sky, serves as a point of entry into a reflected territory where the camera finds the lost image of the artist’s maternal great grandmother.


> Soldados de la Memoria/Soldiers of Memory (2010). Experimental Narrative, 24 min. color.

Traveling into the lives of four male characters, the video creates an intersection of historical times to interrogate Native American cultures, colonial history, and sociological issues such as AIDS, domestic violence, hate crime, the law and economics, all affecting our cultural territories and the lives of the characters. After fifteen years, Nac and Aaron re-encounter at La Calle de La Sirena. Xochiquetzal, a transsexual character who personifies a woman on stage, as well as a Mesoamerican deity protector of male prostitutes, opens the narrative to the ritual of remembering: a fresco painting representing two Mayan men embracing with their erect penis found in the cave of Nac Tunich in Guatemala, how the Conquistador Balboa set his dogs upon Native American transsexuals in 1594, and how the congress of the State of Yucatan killed a proposal to recognize same-sex marriage and women’s rights.

Filmmaker and artist Raul Ferrera-Balanquet will be present.

About Raul Ferrera Balanquet

Was born in Havana, Cuba, has been called one of the pioneers of Latino/a gay and queer aesthetics. After leaving Cuba as a Marielito (the Mariel boat-lift) in the early 1980s Ferrera Balanquet created the LATINO MIDWEST VIDEO COLLECTIVE, which documented and participated in many of the Chicana, Gay, Lesbian, and Queer activities on these movements in the mid 1980s and 1990s. (see: http://www.archive.org/details/ddtv_125_resistencia_latinoamericana)

He continued working and teaching in Chicago and Los AngeIes. He moved to Merida (Yucatan, Mexico) in the late 1990s, during the Clinton years, to be close to his beloved Cuba. Since then he had created, produced, and maintained the only Biennial in New Media Arts for Latino and Latin American Artists; Nuevo Arte Interactiva, organized by his interdisciplinary visual laboratory Cartodigital (http://www.cartodigital.org).

Ferrera Balanquet holds a MFA in Multimedia and Video Art Department, University of Iowa, 1992. Ferrera-Balanquet has curated major media arts exhibits in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Cuba and Mexico, among them InteractivA’(1999-2009) for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACAY), Merida, Yucatan. Mexico, 2001 and 2003; “Huellas de un Corazón Sangrante en Tropicana”, MIX-Brazil, for the Museum of Sound and Image, Sao Paulo, Brazil; “Videos That Unmask, Test and Invade the Colonial System”, Program I, Video In, Vancouver B.C., Canada; among others.

He has exhibited his work at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Randolph Street Gallery-Chicago, Brisbane Powerhouse Art center, Australia, Video IN-Vancouver, Canada, Museo de Arte Actual, Bogotá, Colombia, Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Centro de Cultura Contemporanea, Barcelona, Spain, Museum of Contemporary Art (MACAY), Merida, Mexico.

In addition to a Fulbright Fellowship, Ferrera-Balanquet has been awarded grants from US/Mexico Cultural Fund, Moon Radio Webtv Commission, The Australian Network of Art and Technology, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Lyn Blumenthal Video Foundation, and the Noetic Science Institute/Fetzer Institute. His writings have appeared in the Australian based The Media Circus Reader, Artpapers, Radical Teacher, Cinematograph, Felix, the Mexican literary magazine El Juglar, the Miami based Perra! La Revista and the British/German art magazine Guestroom.

Ferrera Balanquet is founder and director of CartoDigital a collective that discusses and works on new technologies from a global south perspective. http://www.cartodigital.org/

Raul Ferrera-Balanquet is curator for

  • [R][R][F]200x—>XP - global networking project
  • RRF v.2 - Intervención
    featuring these artists

    1. Giselle Beiguelman (Brazil)
    2. Ricardo Baez (Venezuela)
    3. Santiago Perez Alfaro (Mexico)
    4. Eduardo Nava (El Salvador/USA)
    5. Juan Devis and OnRamp Arts (Colombia/USA)
    6. Alex Riviera (Peru/USA)

    Raul Ferrera-Balanquet participates as an artist in

  • JavaMuseum - Forum for Internet Technology in Contemporary Art
  • LatinoNetarte.net - netart from Lating American countries