Spaces of Conviviality, 2018

Centro Negra-AADK, Murcia, Spain

Spaces of Conviviality is a participatory project built upon notions of conviviality, displacement, identity and migration. In this work, I connect historical interpretations of “diversity” with contemporary issues of integration, specifically in the Murcia region, home to new immigrant communities over the past decade or so.

This project is greatly influenced by my research about The Book of Games, an illuminated manuscript of the XIII century, written by the king Alfonso X “The Wise” (1252-1284), who was an influential ruler in the Murcia region. The book serves as a compendium of lessons and eclectic world views in relation to faith, science, and moral rules. The gorgeous illustrations offer a representation of the king’s multicultural court and his aspirations for inclusion while using games as a platform for interaction.  

Inspired by the book, I created a project that captured a slice of the diversity that exists in this region today, greatly due to the presence of newly established immigrant communities. I created a ‘card game’ with guided questions that invited participants to engage in conversation and share personal stories and challenges. Their answers were transferred onto fabric and hand-embroidered onto badges by community members and volunteers. The badges served to construct an “identity flag” that celebrated individuals and their traits instead of a historical event or a privileged ruler from the past. The flag was unveiled as a public art event during Open Studios at the end of the residency.

This project has been supported by the Research Excellence Fund, the International Travel Fund, and the General Research Fund at the University of Kansas. A recent publication by the KU Endowment Magazine can be accessed here.

Centro Negra, AADK-Spain

Open Studios, August, 2018

Mixed Media: cotton, hand embroidery, fabric glue, pole

Dimensions: 73 L x 26 W in

view of the flag from the exterior

view of the flag from the downtown plaza, looking up

Mixed media: hand dyed monogrammed cotton sheets sewn together to form a tent.


María Angeles Cano, Soufianne Haouass, Mohamed Elhail, Mohammed Bouazzaoui, Walid El Omrani, Ammar Cheida. Additional Collaborators (not shown in pics): Angel Ríos, Naoual Khattari, José Luis Sánchez, Loli Molina.

Centro Negra, AADK-Spain

Open Studios, July, 2018

The Game


Mercado de Artesanía, Blanca, Murcia.

Process, images, research