Weaving together words and images, Paper Portals winds through the migration of the artist’s family, the emergence of their political consciousness, and their work in/for beloved community. Part poem, part visual meditation, part fragments of spells, the work reflects the author’s relationship to New Orleans on a personal, historical, and metaphysical level. Paper Portals invites the reader into a stretching exercise, straddling multiple planes and timelines, to explore memories, ruptures, and their messy results.
R. Cielo Cruz (they/them) is a writer, parent, social justice movement leader, intersectional feminist, and multi-media artist. They have lived in New Orleans for 25 years and in that time, worked closely with numerous organizations in the struggle for racial justice, lgbtqia+ liberation and immigrant rights. They hold an MA in Latin American Studies from the Stone Center at Tulane University. Born in the US to Cuban parents, Cruz identifies as a pre-natal exile, remaining close to the grandparents and other family who stayed behind in Cuba.
This project resulted from Cielo’s Paper Machine residency in November 2022.