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“Lejanía” by Pablo Mejia, ArtsWave “Truth & Healing” Artist 

“When we’re able to express ourselves, and we listen to the stories of others, we can heal.”

Pablo Mejia

2023 ArtsWave Black and Brown Artists Program

Creativity Squared is proud to support and partner with ArtsWave and to bring you this special interview series featuring the phenomenal artists and grant recipients selected for this year’s ArtsWave Black and Brown Artists Program.

Pablo is a 2023 ArtsWave Black and Brown Artists Program Grant Recipient and “Truth & Healing” Artist.

The intention of these interviews is to give these talented and deserving artists another platform to share their art and truth expressed through it, as you never know what ripples will turn into waves. If you’re interested in working with, featuring, or supporting these artists, please don’t be shy about it.

We’ll be hearing from these artists whose films were shown in the ArtsWave “Truth & Healing” Showcase and Film Festivals. Part one of this series features the artists whose work is in the exhibition that is available for visiting at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, OH, through September 10. 

This year’s theme is “Truth & Healing” and Creativity Squared host Helen Todd had the great honor of interviewing the artists during the opening showcase to learn more about their work and what truth and healing means to them.

Meet Pablo Mejia

By the age of six, Pablo knew only the life of a lower-class Mexican child, running free through flooded neighborhoods and finding the joy of riding on the back of their mother’s motorcycle. As a young adult, Pablo took road trips through Latin America and began to discover their voice, a product of those who’ve left everything behind. Pablo’s work walks the realities of arrival, with the beauty of new lands and possibility, contrasted with the pain we carried after that point. Pablo’s vision has been compounded by the strength and sacrifice inherent in immigration.


“Lejanía” is a hybrid short film that combines documentary and narrative elements. The story follows three brothers, Hermitanio, Daniel and Juvencio, three real people who are part of the small but thriving Latin community in Cincinnati. The brothers are Pocomam, ​​Mayan Indians from the highlands of eastern Guatemala and speak Spanish as well as their native language, Pocomam. Through intimate conversations, daily rituals and the sharing of their lived experiences, the story details the duality of pain and perseverance after leaving their hometowns to migrate to Cincinnati.

ArtsWave 2023 Black and Brown Artists Program Cohort

This year’s Black and Brown Artists Program cohort reflects a vibrant collection of diverse art forms created by an equally diverse group of 18 artists. Their mediums include couture fashion, painting, and sculpture — along with film, musical composition, podcasts, theater, dance, and multidisciplinary works.

The projects not only represent the African American experience, but also the experiences of those with Mexican, Lebanese, Somali, Argentinian, Zimbabwean, Guatemalan, and Indigenous heritage.

Listen to the accompanying podcast episode which features Pablo:

Connect with Pablo

Support Pablo’s work by visiting their website and checking out some of their other projects. Also, follow Pablo on Instagram (@pablo.mijo) to stay connected.

Learn more about ArtsWave and why we proudly support the organization in episode 9 “Art Bridges Cultural Divides” with Janice Liebenberg, VP of Equitable Arts Advancement at ArtsWave: https://bit.ly/Ep9JaniceLiebenberg.

Creativity Squared is a proud partner of ArtsWave and because it’s important to support artists like Michael, 10% of all revenue Creativity Squared generates goes to ArtsWave and directly supports the Black and Brown Artists Program.

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