My name is Mirna Ticona. I’m an immigrant. And a decolonial, antiracist artivist.
My work interweaves artistic creativity and political engagement for social justice. I work with what I call “the real landscape”, the symbolical, the cosmological. I use different materials and techniques in my work – from drawing, oil, Indian ink, acrylics and water colors to mural painting and graffiti.
Colors, intense colors, are a part of me and it represents my culture and my being as indigenous, and I use it in my work. Not always, but it’s there, present. The colors I use depend on the topic I work with, and vice versa. Lately, I’ve been working more and more with Indian Ink, which has made me appreciate the spaces between the black and the white, the patterns, the strokes, the lines.
My biography is inseparable from my artistic statement. They are intertwined and they complement each other. But well, I was born in the peripheral suburbs of Northern La Paz, in the barrios of indigenous migrants. That’s where I was raised and that’s where I learned a lot about the “real life” and the “real struggles” of the subaltern. That’s where I learned to draw and paint. I first migrated to Sweden in 2003, but I haven’t left Bolivia; I have returned to live there for several years after that. My papers say I’m Swedish, but due to the relations of coloniality and the structural racism that people from the Global South experience in Europe, I identify as an immigrant, with pride.
My art is political. It is a critique and an exploration of the capitalist, colonial patriarchal system. My art departs from my body/being as an indigenous/immigrant woman. Therefore, I can’t be neutral. I work on topics such as migration, the environment, decolonization and social justice in the world-system.
I have primarily held my exhibitions in the peripheries, in the suburbs, both in Gothenburg and in Latin America. To not be present there, would be a contradiction. That is where, and from where, I paint.