Home and Serendipity

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‘Serendipity’ as term is coined by Horace Walpole in 1754, suggested by The Princes of Serendip, the title of a fairy tale in which the heroes ‘were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of’. Often forced displacement is marked by serendipity, as it is often due to a number of coincidences that one finds himself in the sheltering land. Conchita, a plastic artist from Venezuela, who is in political asylum in Barcelona explains how her work and life have been marked by serendipity. She was working for PDVSA when the enterprise became nationalized by Chávez. Many of her colleagues were made redundant. Although she kept her job, she started suffering from mobbing for not supporting the government, although she never performed as a political activist. Her mobbing case even when to trial, and it was during this period that she started to create artwork. Basically, she explains how life is full of paradoxes: the same government that forced me to leave my job and country is the one pushed me to create art. And this same concept of ‘serendipity’ is also captured in her artwork and understanding of life; each moment, act, gesture might trigger a pleasant surprise. Probably, this is the reason why she has ended up participating in this project. Because she sees in each experience an opportunity to feel at or perform ‘home’.

Esther

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