Ritulas of Commemoration

Artist Statement

What started as a gesture of anger and disbelief at the killing of Michael Brown in 2014 turned into six years of studious research, examination, inquiry and inductive reasoning that is self-regulated and ongoing. Through my art practice, I actively question police brutality, systematic racism, poverty, U.S. foreign policy and how these are intertwined. This persistency is triggered by my experiences as a multi-ethnic Cuban woman, an immigrant, and an industrial worker. My experiences of otherness, resilience, conflict due to colonialism, and unequal power relations make it possible for me to identify with cross-cultural social issues.

Through art, I look at these issues in new ways, engaging diverse audiences by highlighting and creating safe spaces for the viewer to explore, problem solve and build understanding. I am committed to creativity, activism, and social change. This work is a call to action to achieve a common goal.


Rosa Naday was born in La Habana, Cuba and immigrated to the United States at the age of eight. Her work is informed by her experiences as a meatpacker, baggage handler and garment worker.


She studied at the University of South Florida, Parsons School of Design, University of Miami, Vermont Studio Center, and the Fort Lauderdale Art Institute. She has participated on international cultural exchanges, artist residencies and exhibition programs throughout the Caribbean, (Suriname, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Belize, and Cuba) with Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator.


She is the recipient of the several grants and artist residencies. These include but are not limited to the Wavemaker Grant, Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, Artist Access Grant, The Ellies Creator Award, South Florida Cultural Consortium, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Equal Justice Thematic International Residency, Vermont Studio Center, ProjectArt, and Art Center South Florida.


She is a member of Common Field and the National Performance Network and Visual Arts Network, (NPN/VAN). She serves as an artist on the board of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI). Rosa Naday speaks English, Spanish and Haitian Kreyol. She works as a Teaching Artist at the Perez Art Museum Miami since 2008.  

Cubans as a people and nation are the result of the mixing of two major ethnic groups and cultures. Fernando Ortiz was the first to analyze and write broadly about this describing “US” as an AJIACO or stew, not only genetically but culturally. Spain and Africa are the two major components of this mixture. From Africa, there are Lucumi, Yoruba, Nigerian, and Sierra Leonean influences, among others. The Basque, Canary Islands, and other ethnic groups form the parts from Spain. To a lesser degree, Chinese, Arab, Yucatec (Mexico), and Amerindian.

Claiming ALL of my heritage. 

My personal family heritage on my dad's side is Basque, from Spain/France who arrived in Cuba more that 100 years ago. The Basque people have been fighting for self-determination from Spain since the XIX century.  On mom's side her grandmother is from Vera-Cruz, Mexico and was taken to Cuba when she was a young girl, until her last breath she asserted her identity as Mexican from Mayan descent.  She was short, dark skinned with super-straight hair.


Why I don’t define myself as Latinx. This term is adopted in the United States as an attempt to loosely group immigrants and their descendants from Latin America as gender neutral, instead of Latina or Latino. I think especially U.S. born descendants of Latinos find this category useful as a way to be considered more “Americans” than their immigrant parents. 

Human species: The term race or racial group refers to dividing the human species into groups. The most widely used human racial types are those based on visual traits such as skin color, cranial and facial features, or type of hair. A social construct born out of a continuous arrangement of systems of oppression from slavery to the early years of empire-colonies, imperialism, and in the present, modern-day capitalism. Modern biology says that there is only one human race.

Race is defined as “a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits” (a social construct).


Ethnicity is a broader term than race. The term ethnicity is more broadly defined as “large groups of people categorized according to common racial, national, tribal, religious, linguistic, or cultural origin or background.” Ethnicity is something you learn.


Biracial is an adjective.  A term that consists of, represents, or combines members of two separate racial groups. A person who is a genetic mix of two different races.    


Multiracial, adjective, term used to describe people of several or many races.

Contact me or visit my studio @

Laundromat Art Space

5900 NE Second Avenue, Miami, FL 33137

305 606 9241

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