Daniela Paes Leão (Coimbra, Portugal, 1974) graduated in 1999 from the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto. She works as an visual artist and filmmaker, developing creative projects that combine the aesthetic mediums of film, photography, publication and web design with sociology, anthropology and other disciplines. She lives and works at the present moment in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
My work is a question raising process, that does not result in any final conclusion, but increasingly defined questions, about our cultural differences, the world we live in as a whole rather than fragmented distances between ourselves and the other.
The notebook of Diplomacy - With the experience of the journey itself, the subject of my project becoming more specifically related to the reality of Macedonia. I was able during this process to clarify my ideas and understand what the focus of my interest was. In this sense I realised that while the objective of my research laid the foundations for the main subject of Identity, it now became a study of the dynamics between the concepts of Ethnic, Nationality and Citizenship, in a country that exists in an ephemeral situation between its post-communist condition and the capitalist promise of the European Union.
The Identity Builder - This site is a journey. A travel through the time and space of a neighbourhood. A place someone once described as a ‘typical Dutch project’: completely devised, planned and constructed by people, in an artificial island on a lake. But this piece of land in this area could also exist on a sea, somewhere in West-Europe or in any other part of the world. Why is this neighbourhood then so typically Dutch? It is because of its artificiality? The over regulated urban planning? Or it is just the always present bricks and surrounding water? www.identiteitbouwer.org
Plural I & II - From different reasons, maybe one of them have to do with the fact that both of us are living in former countries, we diced to make a historically, political retrospective of Portugal in the last century. In a country in crises, with a vicious political system and a high percentage of abstention that reflects the non-political conscience of the population it is urgent that we get aware about our past to understand the facts of the present and dicover better pads for the future.