photo Carla Novi

Carla Novi is a Mexican artist and filmmaker. She completed the Master of Fine Art programme at Glasgow School of Art in 2011. Human Rights are central to Novi’s practice. She’s particularly interested in working with disempowered communities facing social injustices. In 2013 she was invited to participate in an artists’ workshop in Bangladesh, where she started a project with garment workers. She collected footage of women working in a factory for her own research and recorded their voices for a sound installation/performance she presented in Dhaka at the end of the workshop. Two months after her return from Bangladesh, the factory that she visited, Rana Plaza, collapsed. Driven by the need to fight for justice for the more than 1,000 people who died in the tragedy Novi decided to use her footage to make a documentary regardless of having no experience with filmmaking back then. She quickly had to learn how to edit, write a script, add subtitles, and other elements involved in making a film. In 2014, she completed her first feature documentary “Rana Plaza” which had its premiere in Document (Human Rights Documentary Film Festival) in Glasgow. The screening was followed by a performance where one of the survivors of Rana Plaza flew over to Scotland to share her story with the audience.

Ever since then, Novi has continued to make films, using documentary as a medium to highlight social injustices experienced by disadvantaged communities. Her aim is to amplify voices of individuals who, by sharing their stories, can encourage other voices to make a contribution towards change.

Novi’s work has been shown in different countries around the world including Scotland, Germany, Mexico, USA, Bangladesh, Spain, England, Portugal and Canada. Her most recent projects include “Desaparecidos” (documentary film – Mexico/UK, 2015), “43” (performance – USA, 2015), “Rana Plaza” (documentary film and performance – Bangladesh/UK, 2014), “Organillero” (short film – Mexico, 2014), and “Prohibida la entrada” (performance – Mexico, 2014). She’s currently working on a new documentary film called “Zonas Autoconstruídas”, which is about African communities living in the outskirts of Lisbon and their struggle to preserve their culture and protect their homes.

 

 

EDUCATION
2011 Master of Fine Art, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK
2007 B.A. in Studio Arts, University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas
2007 B.A. in English, University of St. Thomas, Houston, Texas

 

FILMS

2018 Zonas Autoconstruídas (Post-production)
2015 Desaparecidos (Mexico/UK, 88 mins)
2014 Rana Plaza (Bangladesh/UK, 63 mins)
2014 Organillero, (Mexico, 15 mins)

 

PERFORMANCES

2015 43, Harvard Yard, Boston, USA
2014 Rana Plaza, CCA as part of Document 12 (Human Rights Documentary Film Festival), Glasgow, UK
2014 Prohibida la entrada a perros, hombres, menores y uniformados, Cantina Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Mexico
2013 Within, National Gallery Plaza, Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2012 Transplanting voices from a street, to a room, and back to a street, CCA, Glasgow, UK

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2010 Interruptions, Glasgow School of Art (Mackintosh Lecture Theater), Glasgow, UK
2010 Rastros, Centro Asturiano de Mexico (Polanco), A.C., Mexico City
2009 En Proceso, Centro Cultural y Social Hidalguense, Mexico City

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2015 Between 9pm and home, Chalton Galery, London, UK

2014 Sehnsucht, The Chalet (Glasgow International), Glasgow, UK
2014 Quick & Dirty, Cantina Buenos Aires, Mexico City
2013 Cough em if they can’t take a choke, (part of GOMA's “Objective”) Verge Gallery, Glasgow, UK
2013
Walk with me, “Day In Day Out” event organized by The Telfer Gallery, Glasgow, UK
2013 Quick & Dirty, Wintersgills Pub, Glasgow, UK
2013 Britto International Artists’ Workshop, National Gallery Plaza-Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2012 La Promesa, (participant in performance by artist Teresa Margolles), MUAC, Mexico City, Mexico
2012 Launch, Verge Gallery, Glasgow, UK
2012 The Pay Phone Revival Project, Austin, Texas

2011 Künstler Gäste Haus, Künstlerhaus Dortmund, Dortmund
2011 SPLIT, Sommer & Kohl/Arratia, Beer, Berlin
2011 MFA Degree Show, Glue Factory, Glasgow, UK
2011 10 Gales Prize, 10 Gales Gallery, London, UK
2011 The Chalet, Collins Gallery, Glasgow, UK
2011 Sound Thought, The Arches, Glasgow, UK
2010 Draft, The Chalet, Glasgow, UK
2010 MFA Interim Show, Mackintosh Gallery, Glasgow, UK
2009 Glasgow School of Art MFA Auction, McLellan Galleries, Glasgow, UK
2008 Box Show, Bering & James Gallery, Houston, Texas
2008 Texas Green, Art Car Museum, Houston, Texas
2007 Day of the Death Festival, MECA, Houston, Texas
2007 Arts and Music Festival: Celebrating the Third Ward Village, Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas
2006 Seriously Open-Minded, Midtown Art Center, Houston, Texas
2006 Summer Studio Residency Exhibition, Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas

 

RESIDENCIES

2015 Emmanuel College, Boston, USA

2015 UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico
2014 Britto Artist Residency, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2013 Glasgow Artist Studios, Glasgow, UK
2013 Britto International Artists’ Workshop, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2012 CCA Creative Lab, Glasgow, UK
2006 Project Row Houses, Houston, Texas

 

AWARDS

2015 Creative Scotland (Open Project Funding Award), UK

2014 Hope Trust Grant, UK
2013 Creative Scotland (International Programme Grant), UK
2011 Short listed for Best student speech broadcaster at the Creative Loop Student Awards, Glasgow, UK
2009 Mackendrick Scholarship, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow, UK

 

PRESS

2015 Mhairi Stuart, “Film Desaparecidos”, Newsdrive, BBC Radio Scotland, UK, October 21, 2015,

2014 Lucy Adams, “Rana Plaza project”, Reporting Scotland, BBC 1, UK, October 6, 2014
2014 Glenn Campbell, Interview, Scotland 2014, BBC 2, UK, October 6, 2014
2014 Lucy Adams, “Rana Plaza project”, Good Morning Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, UK, October 7, 2014
2013 Emma Ewan, “Cough em if they can’t take a choke”, The Skinny, UK, May, 2013. 58

 

PUBLICATIONS
2016 Document Human Rights Film Festival, “Desaparecidos: New Mexican Documentary”, (text for brochure and programme notes commissioned by Document), October 2016
2015 24th April: Outcries of a Thousand Souls (compiled by Taslima Akhter), “Thoughts on Rana Plaza”, Bangladesh Garments Workers Solidarity, Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 2015
2011 Katalog, Issue 2 Babble, April, Central Canadian Center for Performance

 

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE
2012-2013 Interpreter for Mexican artist Teresa Margolles during public talks and interviews around the UK, including Artes Mundi Prize (Cardiff, Wales), Wellcome Trust (London), CCA (Derry), Glasgow School of Art’s Friday Event at GFT (Glasgow)
2012 Assistant for Jeremy Deller’s Sacrilege project during Glasgow International Festival of Visual Arts
2011-2012 Assistant and interpreter of Teresa Margolles during her residency at Glasgow Sculpture Studios