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Student profile

Laia Nalian

Laia Karmela Nalian (she/they) is an emerging scholar, multidisciplinary artist, and a guest based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montréal. She received a BA with Distinction in Art History and French from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia and is a current student in the MA in Art History program at Concordia University. Originally from Davao City, Philippines, Laia's research involves a decolonial intersectional approach towards exploring representations of babaylan (shamans) in contemporary Filipino art. Her analysis will include questions of decolonization and re-/indigenization among continental and diasporic Filipinx/a/os, kinship, and approaches to community building and cultural activism. 

Laia’s background encompasses art and cultural institutions, customer service, and artistic practices. They have previously worked with institutions such as the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The D.C. Arts and Humanities Collaborative, and the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, North Carolina. As an artist, Laia weaves a range of mediums such as music, sound, and imagery in a sensorial approach to worldbuilding and storytelling. Her greatest project, larvisty, is an evolving multimedia endeavor fusing elements of Philippine mythology and culture, synesthetic experiences, healing, and relationships to place centered in the fictional realm of Hirmahrlik.

Thesis Title: TBD

Supervisor: Dr. Michelle McGeough

Research Interests:

  • Research Interests Include:
  • BIPOC art
  • Historic and contemporary art 
  • Decolonial methodologies 
  • Art and social practice 
  • Community building
  • Diaspora studies
  • Indigenous Art Histories   
  • Cultural activism 
  • De-colonial and post-colonial theory 
  • Intersectionality  
  • Art of the Philippines
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