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Natalia Maria Padilla Castellanos


Artist Statement

I grew up ignoring my uncle when he would tease my siblings because of the color of their skin. I almost grew accustomed to it. It was not until a few months ago when my sister told me that she would cry due to the taunting laughs that I realized how blatantly ignorant I was. I now realize that it is no longer enough to “let slide” the racist jokes my uncles make at the dinner table and due to this I wanted to expose the anti-blackness in the Latinx community with my art during this summer. My piece illustrates a Black Lives Matter protest ascending through the streets of Antigua, Guatemala, in order to showcase how we must unlearn our anti-black behaviour and seek ways in which we can uplift black voices and people. 


The first three protestors on the left are: Alexandria Ocasio-Corte, Ericka Huggins, and Addys Castillo. The first three protestors on the right are: Nontsikelo Muititi, Cori Bush, and Rigoberta Menchú. Finally in the middle is Gianna Floyd. I encourage you to look these women up if you don’t recognize them because they are truly amazing! The fact that all of the protestors are women was certainly not planned! However, I am glad that that’s the case because often women can go unacknowledged in movements. Even though that was an accident, Gianna Floyd was the one protestor that I knew I wanted to include in my piece from the beginning. In my piece Gianna Floyd is leading the protest to represent the younger generations who are standing up and demanding justice. She represents the generation that should be playing outside and writing with chalk on the sidewalk but instead have to go protest to say that their lives matter. She serves as a reminder that this is only the beginning of what’s to come. 


Finally, towards the back two ancestors can be seen, George Floyd and Marsha P. Johnson. I wanted to include them to show that the people who are not longer with us are still watching over us and are still fighting along side with us. They serve as a reminder that we must not forget those who have lost their lives due to police brutality and that we must honor those who have stood up and demanded justice. 


Overall I wanted to convey a sense of unity in my piece to show how we must all come together to dismantle systems of oppression.

Additional Artwork

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