Micaela Anaya

“Republica”; Acrylic and paper on canvas; 20 x 20 inches

I believe in the power of anger: In the sweet release of yelling words that have been biting your tongue, in the exhilaration of taking to the streets in protest, in the catharsis of crying. I filter my fury with painting, portraying women who are angry, indignant from injustice. Some works speak to a personal pain while others are imaginings of what others are suffering. In painting the woman, I took care to make her not just beautiful but fierce. It was important to me that her expression displayed the inner conflict. Imagining the pain of a Haitian woman born in Dominican Republic being thrown from her home and told she doesn’t belong. That is the story of Republica. Her face is meant to be pained but defiant. The words of the Haitian flag “Unity is Strength” take on a new meaning in this current battle for human rights.

“And let him who would lash the offender look unto the spirit of the offended. And if any of you would punish in the name of righteousness and lay the ax onto the evil tree, let him see to its roots; And verily he will find the roots of the good and the bad, the fruitful and the fruitless, all entwined together in the silent heart of the earth.”

I believe in the power of anger as a catalyst for change with peace and justice as its beacons. Anger is not the end game but it is the beginning; and if our anger is sedated or contained then we must fight for its release, for only then will we speak our truths unashamed.