Mexican Tertulia

Cinthya Santos Briones, image from Indigenous Migrant Women in New York

Mexican Tertulia

Sunday, October 30th | 2 – 4 pm
Event is free but seating is limited, RSVP to to secure a seat
Suggested Donation $5

Baxter St at CCNY and the Celebrate Mexico Now Festival present a Mexican Tertulia. An event of 7-minute lightning talks featuring lens-based artists of Mexican heritage. The evening will feature a series of short talks by the artists presenting their work.

It is a particularly fraught time to be a Mexican in the United States. This event is a celebration of Mexican culture during an election season that has generated great cross-cultural mistrust. Organizers Martha Naranjo Sandoval and Groana Melendez are interested in showing the variety of Mexican experience, the important role of Mexicans in the community, and how being of Mexican heritage influences the practice of different artists in order to take ownership of the conversation.

The format will consist of featured talks by established and mid-career artists and then an open mic period where Mexican artists in the audience are encouraged to present a prepared 7-minute talk. You are encouraged to prepare your talk in advance. You will be able to register to present during the event, but if you wish to ensure you have a spot please send an email to




Irma Bohórquez-Geisler is a photographer, educator, biologist, and a cultural leader for Mexican-Americans on Staten Island. Irma immigrated to New York in 1991 from Mexico City. Irma’s photographs are part of her ongoing social-documentary series “Simple Moments of an Emerging Presence” of Mexican-Americans in New York. Currently she is exhibiting at Alice Austen House Museum, and exhibited at Museum of the City of New York; Governors Island Art Fair; Hodges Gallery; Umbrella Gallery; Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Featured on The NY Times/Lens Blog 6/15/2016, “Mexicans in New York: Traditions and Turning points”, finalist in the International 5th Julia Margaret Cameron Award and 2011 and NYFA Mentoring Program for Immigrant Artists. In 2011, City Councilwoman Debi Rose conferred on Irma the “Staten Island Women Who Preserve History”. She is Founder, Artistic and Program Director of the annual Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Staten Island, established in 1992, and 2016 commemorates the 24th anniversary of this festival. She holds a Ph.D. in Ecological Entomology from Oxford University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Autonomous University of Mexico City (UNAM).

Karla Carballar was born in Mexico City. Her work in video, photography and installation has been exhibited in the US, Mexico, Asia and Europe, including Ex Teresa Arte Actual Museum, Mexico City; Today Art Museum, Beijing; the Stadsschouwburg Theater, Utrecht, NL; Jamaica Center for the Arts, New York City, and Dukwon Gallery, Seoul. She was an Artist in Residence at the Watermill Center in October 2014 with the arts collective Lydian Junction. Karla Carballar holds a Master of Arts from the New York University, and a Bachelor in Graphic Design and Photography from Universidad Intercontinental in Mexico City. She currently lives and works in New York.

Gabriel Garcia Roman was born in Zacatecas, Mexico in 1973 and raised in Chicago. He received his B.A. in studio art at The City College of New York. Garcia is a photo-based artist and craftsman. As an artist, he’s constantly looking for ways to counteract the flatness that’s inherent to photography: weaving, folding, cutting, interlacing prints or collaging are all different attempts at realizing that goal. Photography allows him to explore aspects of his identity and decode the world he lives in. Queer. Mexican. American. Immigrant. Secular. Catholic.

Alan Ruiz (b. Mexico City) is a visual artist whose work explores the intersection of site-reflexivity, architectural discourse, and urban policy. His work engages constructed space as a perceptual and a political medium. He was a 2015 — 2016 fellow in the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, and is a 2016 — 2017 AIRspace Artist-In- Residence with Abrons Arts Center in Lower Manhattan. His projects have been shown both nationally and internationally, including in exhibitions at The Queens Museum (NYC), The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts (NYC), Wave Hill (NYC), the Bronx Museum of the Arts (NYC); Ortega Y Gasset Projects (NYC) ; Y Gallery (NYC) ; Horatio Jr. (London, UK); Johannes Vogt Gallery (NYC); Tape Modern (Berlin, Germany); Andrew Edlin Gallery (NYC) Y; and Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) Building 110, Governors Island (NYC). Ruiz has also participated in residencies with the Whitney Museum of American Art's Youth Insights Program, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Art & Law Program, and the Yale Norfolk Summer School for Art and Music. His writing has been featured in The Drama Review (MIT Press), BOMB Magazine, InVisible Culture: An Electronic Journal for Visual Culture, and he is a contributing editor to Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory. Ruiz is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute and Eugene Lang College at The New School in the department of Visual Studies. Ruiz received an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from Pratt Institute.

Cinthya Santos Briones was born in Mexico in 1983. She studied Ethnohistory and Anthropology in Mexico City, and for about ten years, as a researcher, her work took her to different institutes of higher learning both in Mexico and New York. She began her love affair with documentary photography and photojournalism inspired by the visual and imaginary aspect of anthropology, practiced in her field work with indigenous communities of Mexico. Among the mountains and the sierras she has had the opportunity to use photography as an ethnographic tool to visually document rituals used by indigenous healers or shamans, as well as the making of their textiles and their lives as migrant families from rural communities. She took several courses of documentary photography and anthropology in Mexico and Cuba. In 2011 she moved to the city of New York following the migration of an indigenous community that she came to know intimately, their families and places of origin. While living with them she became an organizer with Mexican migrants and, at the same time, a freelance writer, documenting a diverse array of themes such as the struggle of carwash workers, the DREAMERS and the reproduction of culture in the transnational life of the migrant, Mexican community. Eventually on 2015 she registered in the Documentary and Photojournalistic program at the International Center of Photography, where she has recently graduated and has received the Magnum Foundation Fellowship 2016. During her studies at ICP, her work as a photographer has led her in finding her own voice and shape. Thus, influenced by human rights struggles and social anthropology, her work focuses on documenting the common ground where migration, human rights, gender, identity and culture intersect, always with an eye to capture moments that tell stories to further the social capital of vulnerable communities that live in the shadows of invisibility, and facilitating their visibility from a creative standpoint. The primary objective of her work is to make known the lives of migrants in the transnational space, the reproduction of their culture and the redefinition of their identities, as well as their social struggles and their plights.

Also featuring talks by Paul Barcenas, Benji Bustamante, Adhat Campos, Sofía Muñoz Boullosa, Eric St. James Lopez, and Alejandro Yoshii.


Martha Naranjo Sandoval is a filmmaker and artist-curator from Mexico City. She holds a degree in Film a Television from Centro de Diseño, Cine y Televisión in Mexico City and an MFA from the International Center of Photography and Bard College. Along with artist-curator Groana Melendez, she organizes platforms to showcase artists and promote critical conversations. Her work focuses in the materiality of image; in the difference between how time is portrayed in moving and still image; and in how images gain significance culturally.

Groana Melendez was raised between New York City and Santo Domingo. She holds an MFA from the Advanced Photographic Studies at the International Center of Photography-Bard Program. Groana graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Photography from Syracuse University. She has participated in group exhibits in China and Guadalupe, solo shows in the New York Public Library and ICP-Bard’s studio in Queens. She works and lives in New York City.

The BAXTER ST at CCNY Conversations Series is made possible in part by generous support from public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and with the support of the Celebrate Mexico Now Festival.