One Way Or Another
This series of collage and mixed media works on paper is inspired by the 3 months Diaz spent in Yemen when she was 15. Fragmented memories are reconstructed with imagery collected from magazines, books, personal archives, and online research.
Having only known the streets of Chicago, the experience of traveling to Yemen was a surreal contrast of the worlds she was still struggling to make sense of. As a teenager in the 90s, MTV was a daily priority. Artists like Salt-N-Pepa unapologetically affirmed that a woman’s sex life is “None of Your Business,” while Madonna boldly claimed her independence and sexuality. Their defiance left a mark on a teenage girl covertly rebelling against the misogyny of her family and community.
In the highlands of Yemen, everyone knows everyone’s business and then some. It was there that Diaz learned, via gossip, who she was arranged to be married to. It was also there that she resolved to eventually escape the fate of a forced arranged marriage and a life of oppressive misogyny and limited freedom.
One Way Or Another was presented as part of the at land's edge fellows exhibition at Human Resources in Los Angeles in May 2017.