Elyla Mentorship Awards recipient

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Screenshot 2021 10 13 at 17 39 39


  • Moving Narratives


  • Artistic Research
  • Performance
  • Visual Art


  • Nicaragua

Elyla Nicaragua is a performance artist and activist based in Chontales, Nicaragua. Elyla’s work deals with creating resistance to colonial, imperialist and western ideologies around the construction of identity politics and nation-state cultural narratives, specifically as it relates to mestizaje, queerness (cochoneidad) and indigenous ancestry. The artist coined the term barro-mestiza to take distance from the traditional and colonial understanding of mestizaje during their ongoing process of decolonization. 

In 2013, Elyla co-founded the Operación Queer/Cochona collective that blurred the limits between academia, art, and activism, creating artivist interventions in Mesoamerica. Elyla has presented their work at the IX/X Biennial of Nicaragua, IX/X Central American Biennials, and the XII Biennial of Havana, Cuba. They are also a 2021 Prince Claus Seed Awardee and an 2020 Artist Protection Fund Fellow (APF-IIE).