Amanda Raquel Dorval (b. 1987), originally from Queens, NYC, is a Nuyorican-Dominican artist, library professional, Middle Eastern Studies graduate student, and anti-war veteran who served seven years in the US Air Force as an Arabic linguist. She received her BA in art history from Barnard College and graduated in May 2022 with an MS in Library and Information Science from Long Island University with a concentration in Archives Management, Rare Books and Special Collections. Amanda was the Bibliographer of Indigenous American art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Watson Library from 2021 to 2022. She was a 2022-2023 Research Fellow at the Hispanic Society Museum & Library, and also has library/archive experience at the American Museum of Natural History, World Monuments Fund, Brooklyn Museum, Jewish Museum, and Wildenstein Plattner Institute. As an artist, Amanda receives inspiration from her cultural heritage and military experiences. She is interested in the exploration of traditional and popular Puerto Rican, Nuyorican, and Taíno heritage and culture through use of photography, photocollage, sewing, beadwork, painting, embroidery, weaving, and costume design.
She is also currently pursuing a second masters degree in Near Eastern Studies at New York University, where she is interested in the cross-cultural influences between the Middle East and Latin America as well as visual culture and heritage in Iraq.
Photo: self-portrait, 2023.
I am interested in the interconnections between Puerto Rico and the Islamic world, specifically in an exploration of the legacy of the Muslims on the visual culture of the Puerto Rican islands and Nuyorican diaspora.
I was born in New York City to Puerto Rican and Dominican parents, with a genetic makeup that includes Southern Iberian, Indigenous American, and Western Sub-Saharan African. I do not identity as Muslim, nor do I claim any cultural connections to the region commonly referred to as the Middle East and North Africa. However, as I am an Arabic language-learner and a graduate student of Middle Eastern studies, I wholeheartedly acknowledge the influence of Muslims and indigenous Imazighen peoples within the culture of the Caribbean, as it was imported into the region when it was colonized by Spain (which itself had been under varying degrees of Islamic rule from 711 to 1492).
My work explores larger themes of colonialism, identity, reconnection to indigenous Taíno ancestry, and cultural exchange as a result of the violent and forced intermixing of different heritage groups. My practice combines costume making, embroidery, beadwork, photography, painting, and photocollage in order to reimagine the meaning and nuances of Puerto Rican and Nuyorican identity.
Photo: by Joanna O'Shea, 2014
2023 - present: Archives Intern. American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY.
2021 - 2022: Research Associate/Bibliographer of Indigenous American Art. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY.
2021 - 2022: Research Fellow. The Hispanic Society Museum & Library, New York, NY.
2021 - 2022: Archives Intern. World Monuments Fund, New York, NY.
2021: Archives Intern. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY.
2021: Collections and Publications Intern. The Jewish Museum, New York, NY.
2021: Archives Intern. Wildenstein Plattner Institute, New York, NY.
2010-present: Freelance artist, designer, and portrait, lifestyle, and art photographer.
2018-present: PhotoVogue Portfolio
2019-Event Photographer: What's Up? Magazine, 2019 Bridal Expo, Annapolis, MD. 27 January; The Look, Annapolis, MD. 1 March. page 36; 2019 Spirit of Community Awards. Live! Casino, MD. 15 March. page 41; 15th Anniversary of South River on the Half Shell. History London Town and Gardens, MD. 9 May.
2013 - 2020: Iraqi-Arabic linguist, United States Air Force.
Library & Archives Publications, Exhibitions, and Blogs
2022 - A Salute to the Artistic Legacy of Native American Veterans. Perspectives: In Circulation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
2022 - The Middle Eastern Roots of Spanish and Latin American Repostería. Tertulias de Arte Hispano, Hispanic Society Museum & Library. YouTube.
2022 - From the Archives: A Focus on Ramadan. World Monuments Fund.
2022 - From the Archives: World Monuments Fund in Italy. World Monuments Fund.
2021 - The Iraqi Ba'ath Archives: Collective Memory Loss and Authoritarian Nostalgia in the Post-Saddam Era. Libraries: Culture, History, and Society (2021), 5 (2): 204–225.
Solo Art Exhibitions
2021 – Diary of a Nuyorican, virtual solo exhibition. Exhibizone, Biafarin Online Gallery. November 27 – December 27.
Group Art Exhibitions
2022 - The Flag Project, Rockefeller Center. Only One Earth, in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme and the Climate Museum in New York. 1 - 30 April.
2021 - The Flag Project, Rockefeller Center. Curated by Aperture Foundation. 27 March - 30 April.
2021 - Der Greif, Guest Room monthly online exhibition, curated by Anna-Alix Koffi. January 31.
2020 - Chromatic Awards International Color Photography Contest, Honorable mention, Amateur Portrait Category.
2020 - Chromatic Awards International Color Photography Contest, Honorable mention, Amateur Fine Art Category.
2020 - Photo Oxford, "Women & Photography: Ways of Seeing and Being Seen," 7th place.