Here we are with Maya Escobar. An artist and educator whose art, personality and opinions come to life by way of her blog and social media extensions. We are thrilled to have her on to talk about her background, blogging and sharing her blogging experience with the rest of the blogadera.
When did you start blogging? What prompted you to pick it up.
I started blogging in 2005, at the time I was completing my degree in art education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I was interested in connecting with other artists, activists, students and educators to share ideas and resources.
What do you blog about? Why?
I blog about issues that relate to the artworks I am producing (basically concepts I am thinking about). Topics include: the construction of identity, hybridity, sexuality, education, placelessness, immigration, activism, religion, and mental health.
Can you give us a little bit of background on Maya Escobar?
Well… it just so happens that I just posted a new “about me” to my website:
I am a performance artist, Internet curator, and editor. I use the web as a platform for engaging in critical community dialogues that concern processes by which identities are socially and culturally constructed. I perform multiple identities and sample widely from online representations and existing cultural discourses. My identifications as a Latina-Jewish artist, dyslexic blogger, activist and educator are indexed by the blogs I keep, the visual and textual links I post, the books, articles, and blog posts I cite, the public comments I leave, and the groups I join.
By examining and re-imagining my personal experiences, I attempt to provide others with a framework for questioning societal limitations based on gendered and racialized cultural generalizations.
(if you found that about me too dull there is a post on my blog where I describe myself as an elephant)
Does your blog reflect your culture? Is this intentional or just a natural byproduct?
I hope that my blog reflects a culture of critical inquiry, communal dialogue, and collaboration. (this would be intentional)
What is the state of the Latino Blogosphere? Do you see it growing? Any Examples?
I see more and more Latina and Latino bloggers every day. But what I find most exciting is when those bloggers are young people and they are blogging with a positive message. A wonderful example that I have found is MyLatinitas.com the social networking platform hosted by Latinitas Magazine. Here young Latinas are actively sharing their thoughts on politics, culture, education, and family.
You work alot with videos…do you consider yourself a vlogger? If so, can you define that for us!
hmm… I am not really sure if I consider myself to be a vlogger. When I think of a vlogger, I think of a person who makes videos that contain similar content to content that would be included in a blog post (such as current events, politics, or personal observations.) Maybe, I am a part time vlogger
Any advice for Latinos who want to start blogging?
I think it is important to get a sense of why it is that you want to blog, what will your blog say about you, and how you envision your blog interacting with your personal and professional life.
Write about issues that you are passionate about, in a way that other people can relate to. Use the Internet for all it can do- link between your own posts and link to posts written by others. Read other people’s blogs and comment! If you want people to be interested in the things you are writing about know what they are writing about!
And most importantly when you can, blog in Spanish!
What blogs do you follow or subscribe to? Favorites?
I just started reading VivirLatino which led me to the awesome blog of La Mamita Mala. I have been following Latina Lista for sometime, Rio Yañez and his buddy Maya Chinchilla, Sergio Antonio, Jorge Linares…… the list just keeps on growing…
What are you favorite social media sites and how do you use these tools in your day-to-day?
At this point twitter, youtube, flickr and wordpress are the sites that I most commonly use. My activity on all of theses sites crosses over. For example, I might write a post on my blog, that will include a youtube video and images I posted onto flickr. Then I send a tweet that includes either a segment of my blog post, an image from the post, or some of the tag words describing the post.
Do you divide social media by purpose, friends, professional v. personal, etc.?
Not really, for the most part my personal life is my professional life.
What’s next for Maya? What do we have to look forward to from you?
I am working with my father on developing my first performance piece entirely in Spanish. We are using a recording of an interview my mother conducted with my abuelita in 1985, as source material for the monologue I will be performing recounting her experiences, but as myself- two generations removed……
I am also planning a piece with fellow artist and blogger Rio Yañez surrounding the Wise Latina phenomenon. I don’’t want to give too many details away, but I can promise there is going to be a Top 10 list!
check out other Blogadera interviews with Carrie Fergerson and Jo Ann Hernandez