Josely Carvalho. My Body is My Country. (Hartford: Real Art Ways, 1991).
…the turtle carries her shell through waters and savannahs… 1982
I have taken the tradition of diary or journal writing and translated it into visual form allowing me to map a territory of identity, memory, and politics. I consider my work as a loose-leaf conceptual book: paintings, objects, video, book art, poetry, installations, webworks are the hybrid pages of this nonlinear chronicle.
Photographic silkscreen has been the initial process upon which all the chapters or series have been built; recently, digital video and computer technology have become new tools in the expansion and transformation of my iconography.
The turtle is a metaphor of my statehood: I carry my house with me. There is an absence of Brazil and not quite a presence in New York. 1987
Since the early 1980s, I have been working with the concept of shelter as a metaphor of that which houses the human soul. From 1985 to 1991, the turtle's shell became the home for the wandering immigrant, leading to the bookart and installation My Body is My Country (1991), shown at Real Art Ways in Hartford, Connecticut. That chapter acted as a political response to my own cultural separation and struggles to preserve my cultural identity in this country. It shaped grounds of new works examining the extermination of "other" cultures by other cultures.