Samera Paz is an artist from Washington D.C. of Colombian-American heritage. Her work oscillates between 2D visual work and performance art. She is interested in documenting themes surrounding her cultural identity, her mental health journey, and work that speaks on social and political experiences as a Black woman in America. C& América Latina speaks to Samera about art, archive, and social justice.
C&AL: Can you explain your process and how the two mediums you use help convey your ideas?
Samera Paz: Image-making can be an invasion of another’s privacy. Performance art is an invasion of my privacy. In the past my photographic work involved photographing friends, family, strangers. Sometimes during very intimate moments. Sometimes with permission and other times without. I was in a space where being a photographer and documenting the people and events around me could be harmful to my community of activists, Black people, and my fellow peers. Over the years, I’ve gained a new perspective on how to use photography, and now I’m leaning towards creating new bodies of work that turn the camera on just myself. Performance art is different in the sense that I have complete control and my physical body and existence is the artwork. Performance gives me the space to practice vulnerability openly with an audience and connect with others in a unique way. All my ideas stem from this never-ending feminine urge and feminist rebellion that runs through my blood.