Daniela Rivera Antara is a multidisciplinary artist and writer from Lima, Peru interested in socio-cultural issues related to identity and migration. She graduated from the Royal College of Art (London) and from NYU Tisch with a BFA in Film Production and Comparative Literature with a focus on post-colonialism and politics of representation. Her work and transnational interests have been influenced by her early years between Lima and Australia, her studies in Paris and Abu Dhabi and regional travels. Her work explores socio cultural issues in identity, gender, migration and the body's relationship with its environment. Daniela works as a freelance journalist and photographer and collaborates with NGOS and social platforms for educational and social change purposes.
The daily routine and household labour of afro descendent women remained hidden from the public view yet became more pronounced during the development of governmental and global restrictions due to Covid-19. “The only governmental entity that mentions Afro Peruvians, is the Ministry of Culture. As if we only exist to contribute to Peru’s gastronomic and musical image without addressing that Afro Peruvians have been living through systemic crises. Everyone talks about the doctors working in the frontlines but there is no talk about the Afro Peruvian women living in the frontlines”, said Melody Palma, a 25-year-old law graduate and activist.
Most Peruvians still hold onto a narrative of multiculturality as a national identity without realizing the extent that it fogs all efforts of engaging in thoughtful and proactive change. A narrative that leads to recurring comments such as “we are all the same”, “they are just socially resentful” or “racism doesn’t exist”. Within a society of normalized machismo and sexist violence, non-white women are often perceived as servants, maids, objects of entertainment or of pleasure. A story that repeats itself for afro-descendents, indigenous women and even Venezuelan migrants, with haunting testimonies of being followed, harassed, abused or confused for prostitutes purely for their physical appearance. A study done by CEDET with UNICEF and Plan International showed that an estimated 20% of Afro Peruvian girls and young women drop out of school because they didn’t like it. As of the recent 2017 census, only 11.5% of Afro Peruvian women pursued higher education. “Many women have not gone to the hospital or clinic out of fear that they would be treated worse than they were before COVID-19 and many are suffering an economic and psychological blow”. Through her brown eyes brings forth the inner world of afro descendent women and the symbols that surround them as well as the isolation felt intergenerationally due to race and the crisis.