Prelude

I was born in the North;
My family is from the South;
I left to the West.

I was too black for the North;
I was too white for the South;
I was left in between.

I carry papers that describe me;
I carry labels that entrap me;
But papers will not define me.

“Who are you?”; “Who am I?”, I will reply: “I am black.”
“I am successful, I am nice.
I am handsome… and a free man.”

Bring me the flags, bring me the suitcase!
I might lose one, I might get another,
But I am me, even though my identity is not fixed.

My life is a journey to an unknown destination…
Let me guide you to the inner me.

By Carla Asensio, Clara Esquerdo, Anna Ferrón & Elena Peris

Introduction

This portfolio is about Prudencio Dembélé, a twenty-two year old boy who was born in Spain but whose parents are from Mali. He is a man who has lived in three different realities: the Spanish, the Malian (on a trip back to “his origins”) and the Canadian one (because his family moved there). Through his eyes, we are told a story, his story; about how different those places are, about how he experienced different cultures and, above anything else: His sense of identity. Is he Malian? Is he Spanish? Or maybe he feels Canadian? In order to explore those ideas we divided this project in two parts: the official truth and the personal truth, or the theoretical and creative ones. The first part contains background information about Mali’s history, Mali in Spain through statistics and associations, and some documents on migration. The other part explores Prudencio as a transnational person in many artistic forms: a DIY suitcase, a drawing and a cloth doll.

Who is he? How does he feel? Sometimes we cannot discover him fully, but by listening to his voice we can have a taste of his feelings.

By Carla Asensio, Clara Esquerdo, Anna Ferrón & Elena Peris