Produced by Karmen Gallegos
Other pieces by Youth Media Project
Posted on January 10, 2008 at 08:15 AM
Well this is a very good piece. I love the idea of how you're not from here or there. Your story is interesting and your audio mixes are good in the beginning between the Mexican anthem and the U.S. anthem. I would just recommend you don't speak so close your your mic or what not, because we can hear a lot of popping in your words. Also some fades need to be fixed but overall it's great! Im born here but I can totally relate! Keep up the good work! =]
Posted on April 17, 2007 at 07:45 AM
Carmen Gallegos's heartfelt personal essay about being Latina in Santa Fe begins with an ear-splitting orchestral rendition of Mexico's national anthem. Before long, with "Mexicanos, al grito de guerra" still bombulating in the background, a mini-chorus of schoolgirls recites, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America," complete with echo effects. This bilingual audio double exposure, like a thick corn tortilla crust over the innards of an apple pie, is truly uncanny, a knockout radio moment.
Gallegos is caught between celebrating the Cinco de Mayo and Thanksgiving, between listening to Jose Alfredo Jimenez and Elvis Presley. She's an immigrant proud of her home city, Tequila, in the state of Jalisco, but she cares about "the very promising American dream" available to her in the States. Unlike many documenteds and undocumenteds I've spoken with, her question, "Quien soy?" (Who am I?), doesn't haunt her during lonely nights in this country, not famous for its fiestas. She makes no pretense of being Ms. America. She's proud of being "mexicana por vida" (Mexican for life). She may be part of what south-of-the-borderites derogatorily refer to as "la raza" (north-of-the-border Mexican-Americans), and her English is more than adequate, though it sometimes slips and slides into unintelligible puddles. Make no mistake, however, Gallegos is one of millions of the melting-pot masses who refuse to immerse themselves in an all-American stew.
Audiophiles may notice a few rough edges in this production, a piece Gallegos wrote while she was attending Santa Fe Community College. Despite a minor editing glitch in the recording approximately 2 minutes and 20 seconds past the beginning, the piece ends splendidly with the poignant harmonies of chicana singer Perla Batalla's "Someday Soon We'll Be Together" -- as if Mexicans and Americans might one day resolve hot-button immigration issues and unite in a never-ending neighborly abrazo.