b. 1990 Ponce, Puerto Rico. Amara Farid Abdal Figueroa lives between Puerto Rico and Kuwait. Agroceramist, artist and environmental advocate. Amara’s practice is regenerative and intergenerational, focusing on our Earth, how nature reflects culture, and how material extractions separate or connect us to our current ground by linking the effects of the ecological collapse to conflict. Her work documents ways in which materials are sourced, transformed, used and reused, working mainly with, but not limited to, locally identified clay bodies. She currently studies the ground in Puerto Rico to filter the island’s water, Tierrafiltra, continuing Ron Rivera’s legacy (PFP) in his island of origin.
After the 2017 hurricanes, Puerto Rico’s water insecurity was widely exposed. As an island abundant in clay and water with an unreliable electrical system, tierrafiltra is addressing the island’s water quality by producing filters out of locally sourced clay. Analyzing local clay bodies is conducted in parallel to the construction of a network of wood and gas fueled kilns. By interpreting ancestral techniques and available open source technologies, tierrafiltra aims to present a viable alternative to the dependency of imported materials, equipment, and high operational costs thus re-envisioning our landscape with a local filter. Collaborations with international ceramists, Potters for Peace, and local scientists, Iser Caribe, will allow tierrafiltra to produce and evaluate the microbiological effectivity of the water passing through different clay:combustible recipes. In this process fomenting a conversation amongst latinx contemporaries and regional precedents is key.