Art, Art History and Design, School of


First Advisor

Walker Pickering

Second Advisor

Dana Fritz

Third Advisor

Sandra Williams

Date of this Version



Aldana, Eddy Leonel. 2022. "me tengo que ir".


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Fine Arts, Major: Art, Under the Supervision of Professor Walker Pickering. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2022

Copyright © 2022 Eddy Leonel Aldana


In Spanish, me tengo que ir means “I have to go.” “I have to go” as in go home, or back to one’s home country. As in leaving home for the unforeseeable future, hang up the phone, or pass away. me tengo que ir is also the name of a song by Adolescent’s Orquesta — a song about love, loss, and heartbreak over time that was always played at family parties when I was growing up.

In me tengo que ir, I use world history and personal memory to examine my family’s place within the Guatemalan diaspora. Diaspora is defined as the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland. Existing within the diaspora implies loss, displacement, and emigration because diasporas exist as a result of colonization, nationalism, and in the case of the Guatemalan diaspora, U.S. intervention. From the United Fruit Company’s imperialist business dealings in Guatemala to the Guatemalan civil war, and from my parents’ migration to my mom’s deportation, these events have shaped and negatively affected generations of Latin American families.

Advisor: Walker Pickering