Latina South welcomes Yehimi Cambrón, an artist, activist, public speaker, and entrepreneur. Born in Michoacán, Mexico, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Yehimi’s art celebrates the contributions, humanity, and resilience of immigrants. Her most recent mural titled Monuments: Atlanta’s Immigrants is prominently featured outside of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Let’s listen as Yehimi shares how being a Latina in the South influences her artistic voice and how she hopes to create more space through her monumental art for people to gather and share their own stories.
“It’s important to me to be unapologetic about the stories that I’m representing through my work and even being unapologetic about the way that I represent myself in the spaces that I get to be in.” – Yehimi Cambrón
Episode 9 Notes
Host Adela Yelton asks Yehimi, “How did Art find you?” Yehimi explains how the art classroom became a space for her to express herself as a little girl in an English language-dominant environment. She talks about being Latina, undocumented and Mexicana, in the South and how she hopes her Monuments theme will lead to a more inclusive South in spite of the area’s ubiquitous monuments to the confederate legacy. (1:40)
Teaching and her relationships with students and the community were integral to Yehimi’s path to being able to pursue her work as an artist full time. She talks about working with the nonprofit organization Living Walls and finding the courage to say yes to her first public art projects in her Atlanta community. (5:16)
Yehimi’s personal experience as a Latina, undocumented and Mexicana in the South influences her artist voice and work. She also focuses on creating spaces through her murals where others can share their stories and speak for themselves. (12:08)
Adela and Yehimi talk about Monuments, Our Immigrant Mothers located in Decatur, Georgia and moments of connection. She welcomes conversations about her murals and understands that her work sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable. As creators, they talk about not taking on all the burdens of the world and for people having the responsibility to educate themselves – and ask themselves why – when they feel discomfort. (14:21)
The migrating monarch butterfly features prominently in the mural We Give Each Other the World located in Hapeville, Georgia near Atlanta’s airport. The monarch image serves as a symbol of migration and is a way to connect to the stories of immigrants and why they migrate. Her approach is community-centered and inclusive. The individual stories and interactions are what keep her going, even in difficult times. (22:13)
Yehimi talks about her legacy and her hope for the long-term impact of her work in spite of the ephemeral nature of her murals. Adela asks how we can best support Yehimi and her work – by purchasing prints directly from her at www.yehimicambron.com. Sharing her images on social media platforms like Instagram: @ycambron is also an impactful way to support her as an artist. (28:34)
Yehimi wants Latinas and young immigrant women to know, “There is hope and you have the power to go after your goals.” (34:12)
Thank you to our listeners for your support!