Soy Yo explores the underlying tensions within myself as I play a tug-of-war between my multi cultural background. While I was born and raised in Sherman Oaks, California, I grew up in a Latin household, exposed to the cultura of Mexico and Argentina. It is through language, music, and food that I have learned who I am and have come to recognize the importance of speaking Spanish and to not be ashamed. It all started when I began to have the willingness to be vulnerable and have an authentic conversation about the shared experience many American born Latinx people grapple with.
Soy Yo is a culmination of tools that I wish had existed to guide me through my early teen years when I was most vulnerable and starting to discover my Latinahood. There aren’t too many Latina designers, artists, or even famous figures in the mainstream so this project serves as a Latinx life raft if you will, a supplementary source. The elements I’ve designed not only illustrate my inner thoughts, but also serve as inclusive tools that debunk stereotypes and celebrate powerful Latinx role models. I’ve found that just the act of inclusion, visibility and representation can validate our experience. Visibility creates more possibilities, gives agency to young Latinx people, and broadens the depiction of our cultura.
The works I have made for my degree project consist of colloquial Spanish terms, refer to iconic Latin pop culture references, and refer back to my own childhood and upbringing. The act of including such elements in this work was to provide an inclusive space that I have yet to see exist elsewhere. In many cases, subconsciously or consciously, we are stripped of our Spanish tongue and Latin heritage and told it’s really important to speak English to avoid hardship. Which in a lot of ways is true because of the prejudice this country holds, but we have a choice in this matter. Rather than conform, let’s celebrate the aspects of our cultura that matter to us, that remind us of home, and keep us connected.
What methods should be integrated to better serve my audience?
What other forms of my degree project have yet to be studied?
Subversion or Translation?