Ashley Dequilla

Dequilla_ Ashley.jpg

For the American Dream
Did you forget
The dream you left behind.

This panel is intended to honor my parents Rey and Maria who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in the late 80s. Through sacrifice and hard work, they embody the elusive American Dream: finding remarkable professional and material success that would have never been conceivable in the Philippines. Like the majority of Filipino-Americans in the diaspora, this sacrifice also meant repressing Filipino heritage in our family to make way for assimilation into American culture. Although eternally grateful for the education, opportunities and material comforts afforded to me, I am conflicted by my parents' adopted political and world views as a sign of their indoctrination into the American Dream. My work as an artist rebels against assimilation and colonial subjugation through the active exploration of my own cultural identity and spiritual understanding. This image is a bright memory of my 1-year-old self with my parents, layered and obscured underneath painted gestures of longing for the land where our ancestors came from.