One Day - Un Día

One Day - Un Día


Alex Apella


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"One Day is a book about death and also about hope. The bilingual collages document/portray the raw, loving, brutal, sensitive, intense story of the last day of Alex’s grandfather’s life, which he photographed without knowing it, and the last days of her mother's life, as she succumbed to Leukemia. Trying to describe the book in its poetic and visual depth may be as difficult as trying to describe the feelings and emotions surrounding the departure-farewell of a loved one. The first person narrative Alex uses to tell her story is a visual, bilingual, layered voice of her own creation that she has been building book by book in recent years. Her way of combining Spanish and English simultaneously, the two languages in which she speaks and thinks every day, situates the reader in a place of uncomfortable commitment, and obligates us to face both languages, and to discover just how much we actually do understand. Alex documents the story with photographs from her family archive, which dialogue with each other, interweaving senses that travel from one photo to the next and that the reader completes with their own images / memories, inevitably envisioned as the pages are turned. Alex's book will make you return to those moments, with sadness, with tears of emotion, and you will feel accompanied. You will understand that the devastating impotence of not being able to do anything except be present as events unfold, somehow unites us as humanity. That time heals, that remembering and looking back strengthens. That we are not alone." - Barbi Couto


Alex Apella (self-published)


Ethnic, racial and family identity, bilingual


9.25" x 7.75"


String Binding


Mixed media: photographs from family archive, print, paper.


Standard printing



Other Information

More information on the artist book and the author can be found here:

Exhibit Location

This work was featured in the Olin Library as a part of the exhibition “Common Ground: Selected Works from The Rollins Book Arts Collection” from September 18, 2021 – December 31, 2021.

One Day - Un Día