Consuelo Flores

Day of the Dead Altarista Uses Grief, Justice, and Joy as Her Medium

Early in the month of October, the Los Angeles home of MFA alum Consuelo G. Flores becomes an explosion of boxes and bins, ornate paper flowers, and bolts of colorful fabric. This is when her busy time begins. The artist, writer, and advocate will spend the following weeks preparing to build altars for Day of the Dead celebrations—a practice she began as a teenager.

the seed field podcast; season 3 episode5-12; Individual writing in book on mountain top

S3E6: Stuck On Autopilot, We Ignore Daily Injustices. Can Art Shake Us Awake?

The idea of “defamiliarization” says that we sometimes become so used to our world that we grow numb to it. It takes powerful art to remind us of how strange an experience the opera can be, or how cruel it is that our society forces people to live without shelter on the freeway on-ramps. In this episode we interview the novelist and professor Alistair McCartney about his recent seminar on the Russian theorist Viktor Shklovski and his theory of “defamiliarization.” We talk about what exactly this term means, how it plays out in the works of Leo Tolstoy and Toni Morrison, and how this practice can be used both in and outside of literature to create a more empathetic world.