Cinthya Santos

Cinthya Santos Briones is a nahua-mestiza participatory artist, popular educator and community organizer based in New York. She grew up in small towns between mountains and valleys surrounded by indigenous communities -Nahuas, Otomi and Tepehuas- in central Mexico. She studied Ethnohistory and Anthropology and for ten years Cinthya worked as a researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History focused on issues on indigenous migration, codex, textiles and traditional medicine.

As an artist, her work focuses on a multidisciplinary social practice that combines participatory art and the construction of collective narratives. Through a variety of non-linear storytelling mediums she juxtaposed photography, historical archives, writing, ethnography, drawings, collage, embroidery, and popular education. She is the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Magnum Foundation (2016/2018/2020), En Foco (2017/2022), National Geographic Research and Exploration (2018), We Woman (2019), National Fund for Culture and the Arts of México (2009/2011), etc.

Her work has been published in The New York Times, Pdn, California Sunday Magazine, Vogue, Open Society Foundations, Buzzfeed, The Intercept, New Yorker,  The Nation Magazine, La Jornada, among others.

Currently she is an Adjunct Faculty at the Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. She is co-author of the book “The Indigenous Worldview and its Representations in Textiles of the Nahua community of Santa Ana Tzacuala, Hidalgo”. And the documentary, The Huichapan Codex.

Cinthya has worked at pro-immigrant organizations in New York as a community organizer on issues such as detection, education, and sanctuary. She has volunteered in programs accompanying migrants to the courts and asylum applications. And she is a guardian of unaccompanied migrant children.

Cinthya is part of “Colectiva infancia” (childhood collective) made up of a group of anthropologists who works through ethnographic and visual research on studies around childhood in relation to migration, violence, urban studies and epistemologies of the Global South (