The Poetry Project

Tamara Santibañez

Tamara, a nonbinary person, with long brown hair, looks at the camera. They are standing in front of a white background, wearing a silver septum ring, silver necklaces, and a large silver hoop earrings. They have tattoos on their chest, neck, and upper arms and wear a black tank top.

Tamara Santibañez is an interdisciplinary artist and oral historian living and working in Brooklyn. Their work is rooted in storytelling and the visual language of identity construction, exploring subcultural semiotics and the meanings we make from bodily adornment. Enlisting inanimate objects as stand-ins for human figures and relationships, Santibañez emphasizes the undulating exchange between power and vulnerability, otherness and assimilation, access and complicity. They approach the the body as a site for archiving and accessing personal and collective narratives and view tattooing as a political intervention. As a queer and trans artist, their practice memorializes the language and resistance strategies used by “othered” populations to build alternative worlds.