Studio Sixty Six
Katy Lopez  

Katy Lopez

Katy Lopez was born in Cartagena, Colombia and has been based in Montréal and Ottawa in the last decade. As a visual artist that focuses on using photography and video as an integral part of her expression, Lopez's work mirrors the social and philosophical realities that surround her life. She explores the concepts and feelings at a vulnerable state in different socio-economic scenarios. Her art intends to raise awareness of social issues and become a focused venue of communication. In doing so her intention is to elevate the understanding of humanity at large. Lopez studied dietetics at the National University in Bogota and later obtained her Master's degree at the University of Montréal, specializing in Clinical Nutrition. While Lopez's passion for adventure and travelling relocated her to advance her studies her enthusiasm for photography strengthened. Lopez currently devotes her time to research through the lens.

Winner of Canadian Applied Arts Award 2016

 


Artist Statement
Series: Refugees

One day you are living a normal life and the next day your world is replaced by violence and horror. Suddenly, your family is struggling for survival, one or more of your loved ones has been killed or their life is threaten. Forced to flee in a despairing instant to a place that is supposed to feel safe, you need to reset your life to zero and start from scratch in another country. In a moment, your identity as a farmer, a shopkeeper, an artist or a lawyer is reduced to the term “refugee”. 

One of the hardest decisions refugees need to make is to leave their families behind as well as their land. Nothing can replace the lost of their families and the loneliness they feel once they are in the safe land. 

By the end of 2014 there were almost 60 million refugees and internally displaced people around the globe (more than half were children). In other words,  around 8 of every 1000 people worldwide are refugees. Put yet another way,  it is as if almost the double of Canada’s population was pushed out of their homes. 

Facing a new culture requires living an often painful adaptive process.  Learning a new language, facing prejudices from the community, discrimination, low social and economic status, joblessness, social isolation, mental diseases because of traumatic events and family conflicts are some of the stressors that they deal with upon arrival to the “promise land”. 

Refugees need protection and a durable solution to be integrated in their new society. Integration is a two-way street and being made welcome is a part of belonging. Many refugees suffer rejection in their new land. It negatively influences their employment, searches for housing and how comfortable they feel. 

We need to see them with respect and to give them the value they deserve and to remember that they are people like ourselves searching for a better future.