Yese Rodval
Puerto Rican

La diáspora extraña
illustration, 2023


La diaspora extraña explores a longing for the familiar, for one’s own. Through the piece, Rodval takes a vibrant approach to the homesickness she often experiences while residing far away from her island.

With the use of windows, she depicts a portal between contrasting worlds. In one, we see her looking outward, surrounded by buildings and nothingness. In the others, a glimpse into the life she yearns for— home. 

“Puerto Ricans are often met with the difficult choice: stay in their homeland, close to loved ones, while facing a neverending list of obstacles, or seek a better life elsewhere. It is not an easy decision, as the constant struggle on the island can be mentally and emotionally draining. I ultimately decided to leave...easily the toughest choice I've ever made, because much like the coquí, I can’t seem to find my tune in this strange diaspora.” —Y.R.

In the piece, Rodval depicts herself in a frog pose to draw a parallel between her and the coqui, a Puerto Rican frog that only sings in its homeland. This is a metaphor for her own experience—the importance one’s home carries and the impact a place can have on the human spirit. 


Yese is a Puerto Rican visual designer based in Austin, Texas. She is a passionate cat mom with a keen interest in film photography and—to no one’s surprise—reggaetón. Her work consistently nods to her culture, often drawing from the island's essence for inspiration and thematic prominence.