The Work-Stay: Santiago and Valdivia

Marcela Huerta and Gabeba Baderoon in Chile

Marcela Huerta’s project is a poetry-based portrait of the author’s mother, Yolanda Huerta, a refugee of the 1973 Chilean coup. Marcela and her mentor, Gabeba Baderoon, traveled to Chile for the last phase of their collaboration to confront the difficulty of the page, together.

Prior to the work-stay, over the past several months, Marcela and her mother traveled to the different sites of Yolanda’s refugee journey. During those trips, the two used somatic practices to face the geographies of trauma and find new ways of narrating the histories that have shaped their relationship.

“This project is a lot about sort of massaging out the calcification of that trauma, and trying to find the sort of soft spaces where it can exist, and where poetry can find a way in,” says Huerta. 

In Chile, Huerta and Baderoon worked together after months of remote one-on-one mentoring and exchanged with other writers at the ,coma residency program in Valdivia. The project, entitled White Horses Always Run Home, will premiere at the Forecast Festival in March.