Materials: jeans fabric, brown silk fabric, blue cotton fabric, green plush cloth, thread, paper, cotton, ink, buttons.
Size: 30 cm x 12.5 cm.
It is a doll that represents Prudencio and it has different parts: a body, some clothes (a hoodie, a pair jeans and a pair of shoes) and some stickers or labels that cover the clothes. The doll symbolises people’s prejudices from the external appearance and how the reality is different from those preconceptions. It is thus an invitation to rethinking one’s own presuppositions before meeting a person, just by judging the looks or the accent.
The stickers represent the labels that people here put on Prude when they see him, as he says in the interview. The first thing many people sees on him is his skin colour, so there is a sticker painted with black ink that represents this label. This is connected to the label “foreigner”, because Spanish people tend to think that black people are necessarily immigrants:
(…) but from outside nobody recognizes me as a Spanish. It is like when at the beginning, when you have to sign a document, they tell you: “Can you give me your NIE?,” when the NIE is a document for foreigners; this means something. So then, which is your nationality? Which is your country? Which is your language? All of this is not taken for granted in you, evidently. Sure, it is a problem of society because here it hasn’t been a long time since they have started to have massive immigration.
In addition, they also tend to associate this with poverty and failure, inability to get an education and a good job (labels “Poor” and “Dropout”). The last label (“Label me”) challenges the observer to reanalyze Prude from a different perspective.
Now, if you unbutton the doll’s hoodie, you will find a “window” in his chest, a chance for Prude to show how he represents himself despite all the external labels. The inner part is made of the same green cloth as the suitcase, as it represents his hope to achieve his dreams. It has some additional stickers on it. There are the flags of Canada and Spain again because he feels Spanish-Canadian and does not like to be perceived as a foreigner, which he does not feel. There are three paper dolls holding hands together that represent, on one hand, children and school, Prude’s studies and job, and on the other hand, his future projects of solidarity. There is also a sticker which says “Successful”, because he has managed to do many things despite the difficulties. Finally, there is another sticker which says “Handsome” because he sees beauty in his blackness. This is a celebration of self-esteem because unfortunately there is a tendency to associate fair skin with an ideal of beauty, and it is great to hear that Prude is able to see himself as handsome in defiance of this ideal:
ELENA: Then do you feel African or not?
PRUDENCIO: Yes, because I follow an African root, but I don’t feel Malian. I’m European… I’m black and handsome, that’s it. [Laughs]. Jealous, no?
By Carla Asensio, Clara Esquerdo, Anna Ferrón & Elena Peris