2022 Create Change Fellow
Natalia Guzmán Solano is a Latinx feminist agent of change and solidarity work. She hails from northwest Queens and is delighted to call New York City home again after a stretch in the Midwest for graduate school. A Colombia native, Natalia is the proud granddaughter of Argenides Rosso de Solano and on her paternal side she comes from the lineage of Bertilda Franco.
An activist scholar and ethnographer by training, Natalia is interested co-creating community-led emergent transformative visions that deepen our collective understanding of the ways the justice system intersects with environmental issues. In the past, Natalia has used testimonio as her main theoretical and artistic practice. This work has largely centered around themes of gender and water protection. In her scholarship, Natalia has harnessed transdisciplinary approaches as a way toward reparative justice in the Academy.
Her evolving practice is an avowal of the interconnectedness of our struggles against heterosexualist capitalist oppressive forces. Natalia regularly contributes to programming in Washington University in St. Louis’s Prison Education Project and has been a guest curator for Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project’s The Warbler.
What role can art and culture play in shaping the future of your neighborhood or the city at large?
“Art is healing. Art has the power to give expression to that which we don’t yet have words for. Art is that edge in our line of vision marking the potentiated horizon. Art as a cultural practice is how we conjure expansive visions of what our lives can be.”