Nominee Threshold Award Commercial Practices and BA Research Award
Meet Oriane Palacio! Oriane was nominated for the 2021 Threshold Award Commercial Practices and the BA Research Award with her graduation project ‘Los Que Faltan’. In this interview, Oriane tells us about her work and future plans.
Can you tell us a bit about your graduation project and how it came about?
In November 2020, I applied for Argentine citizenship. I am eligible for dual citizenship because both of my parents are Argentinian. While doing the paperwork I realised that I did not know much about the history of my family. I started wondering why I was born and raised in France, even though both of my parents are Argentinian. I decided to ask my grandmother to tell me more about my family’s history, because I knew she had worked on a family tree in the past. She gave me a stack of documents that she had used to retrace the history of the family and the circumstances that led them to leave Argentina. Using this as a starting point, I collected my own little archive of family documents.
The question of identity became apparent quite early on in my research. I could tell that this was still a very vivid topic in Argentinian culture. The events that took place, such as the dictatorship and the exile, caused a lot of trauma within people, in terms of their own identity, but also on a national scale, in terms of the identity of the country. This is what I wanted to investigate further, because even I, as part of the generation after the exile, who was not born in Argentina, could still feel a lot of conflict. So I went on and interviewed twenty people—mostly family members—and I discovered many similarities among the different generations. It was quite interesting to see how each generation copes with their trauma caused by the dictatorship and the exile and the arising questions surrounding identity. Eventually I created a book called ‘Los Que Faltan’ that captures these stories.
Los Que Faltan is a multilingual book that consists of three parts, or better: three different perspectives. The first perspective is an external one. It includes texts that describe historical events and statistics that give insight into the circumstances of the time period the book speaks about. The second part focuses on my family history through the documents and images I was able to collect. The third part is much more personal and consists of the testimonials of the people I interviewed. The book is written in three languages, Spanish, the language of my upbringing, French, the language I spoke when I lived in France, and English, as I am educated in English. By doing so, I add my own perspective to the book.
Which themes or societal concerns are you addressing in your work, and how?
Los Que Faltan speaks about my perspective of migration and the stories of Argentinian people. Identity is a big part of this project. It is more about the history of a country and the state of diaspora that Argentina is in today.
As a Graphic Designer, I am interested in creating narratives through data. It starts from something big and becomes smaller and smaller as I dive into a personal story or perspective. From there, I usually like to zoom out again and look at underlying structures or stories that sometimes seem very common.
What will you be working on in the near future? What are your next steps?
I would like to continue on this project. The book, as it is now, only contains a fraction of the material that I collected. I would like to explore what I can do with the rest of the material. WdKA’s graduation show in October will give me the opportunity to present the project in a different way. I am currently working on an installation through which I can build a context to present the book. Furthermore, I would like to explore the possibilities to continue with some of the other projects I have been working on over the past years.
To read more about Oriane’s work, pay a visit to her Graduation Catalogue Page. Furthermore, her journey can be followed on Instagram. The winners of the Threshold Award Commercial Practices and the BA Research Awards will be announced during a festive ceremony as part of the Graduation Show. Keep an eye on our Graduation Show page for more information.