Tierra Narrative (TN) is a multimedia storytelling production house dedicated to the curation and creation of new narratives through transnational cultural production between the Central American diaspora and our homelands.
In 2018, we produced our first short film, Isabel, written and directed by co-founder Kenia R. Guillen, which has screened at NYU, Icaro Film Festival, and KQED Arts. Apart from our film work, we hope to create more opportunities through our curation and programming, where we can be found and find others, while supporting narratives that better imagine our collective futures.
TN has programmed film screenings, curated poetry readings, and hosted conversations with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance & Politics, Open Society Foundations, Allied Media Conference, The People’s Forum, and Xamanil Kaqchikel Jay–– addressing subjects such as migration, displacement, Indigeneity, activism, and our relationship to other diasporic populations.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have explored ways to use virtual programming as a source of mutual aid and community care, raising more than 10k to support BIPOC and undocumented folk, land defenders, and others affected by systemic violence in the New York metropolitan area, Guatemala and Mexico. We intend to continue these practices of care moving forward.
Frisly Soberanis (b. 1993) is a director and video artist, from Queens, New York via Guatemala. His work explores separation, distance and the migrant experience. He has received support from E4FC’s Fuse fund, Tribeca Film Institute’s New Media Prototype Fund, Culturestrike and the Nelson Mandela Foundation. He is one of the Open Society’s Photo Documentary Fellows. The last project he worked on, the Family Reunions Project, was a 360 video/ virtual reality project that explored the layers of reality, memories and messages. It has shown at Hemi's 2016 Encuentro @ el Centro de Cultura Digital CCDMX in Mexico City, and during the Moving Walls 25 Exhibit. He is a current Artist in Residence at the Hemispheric Institute. His other work has been shown at the Hilversum Museum and Tribeca Family Day. He loves thunderstorms and family, he is fascinated with light, sound and loves to play video games, especially ones with a great story.
Génesis Mancheren Abaj (b. 1992)is an enby, queer Kaqchikel kuqunel/actor, tz’ibanel/writer and filmmaker from B’oko’ Guatemala and Queens, New York. They refuse to limit their creativity, may it be acting, writing, drawing or knitting. Regardless of medium, they are always exploring their Kaqchikel culture, past and present, as well as pushing the boundaries of what a Kaqchikel future could look/feel like outside of our capitalistic/imperialistic reality. Their film work and writing has been exhibited at Open Society Foundation, Museum of the City of New York, Tribeca Film Festival, Icaro Film Festival, Barnard College and NYU. Génesis is currently applying to evening acting conservatories in hopes to start Fall 2021. IG: @_gmabaj
Kenia R. Guillen (b. 1994, El Salvador) is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist based in New York. Her cinematic practice is in conversation with the wounds of migration; creating with the intention to find processes of healing communally. Inspired by myths and legends, she’s interested in the power of personal memory as an archive, how to write rural life and peoples into cinematic memory, and how to honor the mystical and supernatural as reality. Her work has been exhibited in spaces such as Open Society Foundations, Galería de La Raza, El Museo de Los Sures, Tragame Luz Festival, and Icaro Film Festival. IG: @guillenken
Maryam Ivette Parhizkar was born and raised by a Salvadoran and Iranian family in southwest Houston, Texas. Her chapbooks include Somewhere Else the Sun is Falling into Someone's Eyes (Belladonna* Collaborative, 2019), As for the future (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2016), and Pull: a ballad (The Operating System, 2014). She is a Ph.D. candidate in American Studies and African American Studies at Yale University, where she thinks through aesthetics, poetics, history, and possession/possessiveness through a relational approach to ethnic studies. A CantoMundo fellow, she lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, on the periphery of the Hackensack Meadowlands. Twitter: @MIParhizkar
Òscar Moisés Díaz (b.1993) is a queer genderfluid Salvadoran poet-astrologer, essayist, playwright, film curator, and artist. They've exhibited art in places such as the X Central American Biennial, several museums including the Queens Museum, and a solo at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Costa Rica. They are based in Queens, NY where they are working on their first book of collected poems and essays. Their new forthcoming play is called GENERACION MARUCHAN which is about grungers in San Salvador during the 1990s. They also run a tertulia under the name The Order of the Rosebush where Central Americans meet up to discuss 20th Century Central American poetry through the lens of Astrology. @oscar.moises.diaz