Next of kin by Oxiea Villamonte
Next of Kin tells the story through three different generations of women.
It’s not a linear one, neither a chronological one. It is an intertwining story where the past and the present try to connect with each other as well as disconnect.
Oxiea identity is deeply influenced by her mother and how she has raised her. When looking in a mirror she sees her mother staring back at her. While embracing these similarities, there still runs a fear through of repeating similar choices. This path of finding her own identity leading to Chicago, the place where Oxiea was born.
“By using the archive of my mother when she was my age, I try to deceive the viewer into thinking we are one person. This feeling even gets reinforced in the similarity of the style and the people we choose to surround us with. In the meanwhile my grandmothers’ voice echoes throughout the book in the form of questions right before she died. My grandmother and mother shared also this almost identical relationship as I do with my mother.
Next to this search in finding similarities, I also try to find a way to distinguish myself. This distinction I find in my alternate self, that I call Zillah.”Oxiea V.