Here's a little bit of an introduction to Maria's conversation:
What’s your mother language?
That’s kind of a tough question. I learned Italian first, and I spoke and wrote very good Italian. At that time, my parents spoke Spanish, and I would understand Spanish but didn’t speak Spanish. Then I moved to Colombia and went to a bilingual school, so I kept my Italian and learned to speak and write Spanish, still not very good. So, my mother language, I don’t know anymore. My Italian is slacking a little bit since I don’t speak Italian with anybody, and also my vocabulary is one of a 14-year old. And then my Spanish is very good but I think is not grammatically correct all the time, and I speak Spanish only with my parents. An then, my English is not perfect either, I have an accent and I still make mistakes every now and then, so I don’t think I have a mother language.
Do you think that is something that has, in any way, to do with your work?Definitely. My work Moving In is about trying to find a space, a place, that is my own. I don’t feel at home quite anywhere. When I moved to Colombia, I wasn’t really Italian, even though I was born in Italy. When I got to Colombia I felt like: yeah, I’ll be at home, finally, and then everybody treated me like I was foreign. I had an accent, again. So, it’s not just home there yet. And then, when I moved to the US, definitely not home, it’s a completely different language. So, this work is about trying to find a space that is my own. I try to deal with all the emotions that come every time I move. Some of these emotions are anxiety, fear. You move to a new place, you’re lost and you have to find your bearings, and then also excitement, there’s a lot of excitement when you move, it’s an adventure. There’s a lot of curiosity and expectations that change yourself, change your future.