Bal Trips

Paola Segura Cornelio is a multidisciplinary Dominican Yol artist and designer whose work explores cultural inheritance, representation, and belonging through cultural iconography.

Artist Bio

Tourism is a primary source of income in “developing” nations such as the Dominican Republic, and while the industry’s existence is essential, it’s also a primary vehicle for hierarchical structures of colonization and imperialism. As people from “first-world” nations prepare to travel, Bal Trips travel agency instructs them in proper travel protocols by providing important information in easy-to-digest ways. Bal Trips enables tourists to travel without fear of spreading colonization, eurocentrism, and exploiting their privilege. The project utilizes the charming characteristics of a tropical travel agency—the centerpiece, a looping tutorial video for tourists, explaining proper tourist behavior in a tone reminiscent of airline safety instructional videos. Travel agents speak emphatically in Spanish, while English subtitles facilitate the viewer’s understanding, intentionally creating a communicative distance between how tourists and locals experience “paradise.” The agency will boast an abundance of exoticized tropical prints, an informative website with insider tips, brochures with facts on the tourism industry, and a logo inspired by the Dominican Ministry of Tourism. An installation in the form of a welcoming lounge decorated with cardboard palm trees, sand, and beach chairs will host viewings of the tourist tutorial video.

Award Year

In Progress

Creative Capital Carnival 2022

A woman with curly hair up in a pony tails, wearing a yellow off the shoulder shirt and matching eyeshadow sits framed by a painting. The painting The painting behind her is comprised of two plantains making the shape of a donut, frosted with pink icing and red, white and blue sprinkles.

Paola Segura Cornelio

New York, NY

Paola Segura Cornelio is a multidisciplinary artist and designer whose work explores cultural inheritance, representation, and belonging through cultural iconography. As a Dominican Yol, she seeks to re-interpret diasporic identities, re-contextualizing instruments of colonialism, and globalized eurocentric hierarchies to destabilize and displace their dominance. Her education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from San José State University, a double major in Fine Arts and Fashion Design from Altos de Chavon, and a Bachelor’s in Integrated Design from Parsons, School of Design in NYC. Her work has been featured in various exhibitions in the two countries she calls home: S/P in Casa Quien, Santo Domingo, Our Apartment at the Clemente Center in New York, and as part of different collections in Altos de Chavon and Parsons. She has worked as part of design and production teams for artists and designers, including Gypsy Sport, Telfar, Joiri Minaya, and Gabriela Corretjer’s exhibit at The Shed, while developing a clothing and art object line as part of a collective in the Dominican Republic.