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One of the pioneers of cuban documentary photography.

An American citizen, she works and resides in miami

BARRIO CHINO, the CHINATOWN SERIES

thePhototheque

Sierra won the Cuban Nationwide Photographic Award 13 de Marzo in 1987 for her work Barrio Chino -Chinatown-, which documented a Chinese neighborhood in Havana and represented the artists’ first foray into combining formal aesthetic with social inquiry.  Barrio Chino was also selected for the final show at CASA's Photographic Prize Havana during that same year. Series from 1981-87



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Isabel M Sierra

Art Director


is a Master in Art Education candidate at Florida International University and currently holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Visual Arts with a Minor in Art History from FIU. Also, Isabel received an Associates Degree in Graphic Design from Miami Dade College.  Sierra has worked as a photographer, imaging specialist and art director for different organizations in Miami, Florida; Caracas,Venezuela, and Havana, Cuba.


A photographer since the 1980s, Isabel continues to probe into social issues through her photography works with a sustain interest in topics relating the migration processes, and identity. 

Sierra has exhibited her work in various galleries and museums in Europe, South America, and the US, including The Patricia and Philip Frost Art Museum in Miami, Museum of Contemporary Art in Caracas, and Casa de las Americas and the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana.

The rafter is gone, 2016. Metallic ultra HD Photo Print  20 x 50 ", private collection

In Self Exiles I intended to assemble a vivid and accurate document about Cuban-Americans living in the Miami area. 

I worked mostly outside their houses where I could not change the fountains, gardens, and decorations. My goal was to discover what Cubans imported to the city and how, at the same time,  they were impregnated  by the very special American way to set the spaces we live in.  Elements such as cars, furniture, and appliances appear several times in my photographs to the same degree in which they are immigrants' imported obsessions from the Island. Cuban-Americans can satisfy those with a certain addiction to consumerism by buying all kind of artifacts,- only to put them away weeks or months later if they change location. On the other hand, different shortcuts achieved my purpose to communicate the sense of loneliness that I perceive around me in the city. Therefore, individuals are absent in these images; the refugee is not in the picture because she is behind the camera. 

Miami will continue to change, and so this portfolio. Therefore, my recent artworks made after the thesis,-when I narrowed the use of photo equipment to a medium format film camera and a tripod-, are produced from Digital large format files, and some manipulation of the images may occur as need it.  

- Isabel Sierra, some extracts from her Bachelor in Fine Art Thesis, 6 December 2012.