Miami by Alexia Riner
Based on a conversation with Jessica Martin, of Miami, FL.
Jessica Martin is from Santa Clara, Cuba, and moved to Miami, Florida at the age of seven. Martin is a visual artist and designer who received a BFA in painting from NWSA, and is currently a graduate student at the School of Architecture at Taliesin in Arizona.
Martin describes growing up in Cuba as a “hyper-real, spring reverb paradise”, noting that everything had an “exploding beauty and vibrant decay”. In her opinion, the Cuban culture in Miami has carried over some of that energy but is more dispersed, possibly because American culture is more focused on the individual and nuclear family, as opposed to the people as a whole. She also feels that immigrating to the US caused a disconnect to both countries, which provided her with an opportunity to be culturally liberated and a “merchant of ideas” (referencing “The Stranger” by Georg Simmel).
Despite not growing up on a physical geographic border, Martin’s experience of immigrating to Miami and feeling a sense of displacement echoes many stories of those from border territories, which is why her story is represented as a part of Perimeter.