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Narratives of Resilience: Reimagining Homeland


Narratives of Resilience: Reimagining Homeland

Article by Sherehe Hollins

“Narratives of Resilience: Reimagining Homeland” commemorates the “re-awakening” of the New American’s Museum at NTC Liberty Station. The exhibit features the museum founder’s, Deborah Szekeley’s, personal collection of tapestries created by women from San Isidro, Colombia, as well as the works of first generation Colombian mixed media artist, Carolyn Castaño.

The exhibit’s main themes, “Weaving a New Home” and “Mujeres Que Crean: Women Who Create” reflect the transition and transformation the museum has undergone since closing its doors in 2009. The museum, which originally opened in 2008, is committed to preserving past and present narratives of post World War II immigrants by utilizing various mediums of art and technology to highlight first hand accounts, and stories retold by second, third and fourth generation descendants.

The “reawakening” of the museum is as much a symbol of its resilience and ability to blossom in spite of past adversity, as the narratives of the women represented in the exhibit. Through vibrant paintings filled with life and spirit, coupled with installation and digital storytelling, Castaño’s work, curated by Adriana Martinez Noriega, highlights the stories of women from Medellin, Colombia, who are determined to flourish after being displaced from their homes.

New Americans Museum’s Executive Director, Linda Caballero Sotelo affirmed that the re-opening of the museum represents its ability to thrive, reinvent, and reconnect with the community. When asked what makes the museum unique, Caballero Sotelo stated, “We are not an institution that collects artifacts. We collect narratives and testimonials characterized by personal stories that are woven together by universal themes, which appeal to everyone.”

While many stories of immigration are often tied to political circumstances, the purpose of New Americans Museum is not to place emphasis on political and provocative themes. The purpose of the museum is to be a space where multicultural, intergenerational and multiethnic people can convene, converse, and share personal journeys through the unifying language of art.

“Narratives of Resilience: Reimagining Homeland” is on display at New Americans Museum from January 16 – March 21, 2015.

To learn more about the museum and for information regarding exhibit related programming please visit:

Vanguard Culture

Vanguard Culture is an online media entity designed for culturally savvy, socially conscious individuals. We provide original interviews and reviews of the people, places, and events that make up San Diego’s thriving arts and culture community, as well as curated snapshots of the week’s best, most inspiring and unique cultural and culinary events. We believe in making a difference in the world, supporting San Diego’s vibrant visual and performing arts community and bringing awareness to important social and community causes.

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