My name is Carmen Alemán. I am a Spanish visual artist and educator, living in London.
I currently work as a lecturer in photography in the Department of Arts and Digital Industries at the University of East London. I am also in the process of doing a Professional Doctorate in Fine Art.
My Spanish upbringing has deeply influenced and inspired my interest in gender and women’s issues, (in part, as a result of Spain’s recent past, marked by civil war and almost 40 years of military dictatorship before democracy was established in 1977). Even now, in contemporary Spain, the persistence of gender inequality and challenges from a patriarchal hegemony are still prevalent.
As an artist, I believe in art as a tool for social change, highlighting issues of social injustice and how art possesses an immense power to engender that change. I’m interested in global feminisms, because of their inclusive discourses with a wide range of women’s groups and movements, awareness of justice and equality, and encouragement of a multitude of feminist voices across different cultures.
As part of my doctorate, I am currently researching the topic of women and violence, from a feminist point of view, resulting in an ongoing body of work exploring ideas of power, domination, oppression, subordination and, ultimately, femicide. I believe feminism is a not a political etiquette or label but an everyday experience.
My creative practice explores different media, including photography, video, sculpture and installation, naturally evolving from the studio out into the community and public arena.
As an educator, I have a humanistic approach. I believe in people’s individual potential and in civic engagement. I worked at the University of the Arts in London and, previously, have collaborated on several community projects, including: running photography workshops, with ‘survivors of domestic violence’ (in association with ‘Hate Crimes’) in London, UK; working on video and photography residential summer arts programs for able and disabled young people, (in association with Westminster School), in London, UK and running photography projects with young Muslim women, as part of an Artist in Residence at Melchor de Jovellanos School, in northern Morocco. I created, organized and curated a community street art-project ‘Create Peace’, in South London, as well.
I have also undertaken artist and teaching residencies, at the Academy of Architecture and the Visual Arts (AAVA), Linton University College, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In the last two years, I have participated in the “Directional Forces”, Artists in Residence program, (in association with University of Western Macedonia) in northern Greece.
Socially and politically, I identify myself as a feminist and peace artivist. My spiritual practice as a Buddhist inspires my work both as an educator and as an artist.
Carmen Aleman, Love me Knot, Installation detail