Platform Americas: Filmmaker Denise Soler Cox; Artist Dmitri Obergfell
Episode 2 of Platform Americas is all about the immigrant experience and identity. Filmmaker Denise Soler Cox talks about the unique identity of the “ñ,” American-born children of at least one parent from a Spanish-speaking country. Then we visit Dmitri Obergfell, a multimedia artist exploring his roots -- and his tenuous relationship with his estranged Mexican father -- through a unique, layered exhibition at the Denver Art Museum.
Part One: Denise Soler Cox
Filmmaker Denise Soler Cox is spearheading a movement to help 16 million Latin Americans come to terms with their mixed identities. She talks with Platform Americas co-host Ray Rinaldi about her film, Being Ñ.
On being a child of two cultures: "I never felt Puerto Rican enough for my Puerto Rican family and friends, and never felt American enough for the mainstream culture that I grew up in. And that night, I realized, wow, we’re actually all the same."
On growing up Latina in a white, suburban school: "They called me, 'Spic.' They had no idea I no longer cared. I used to think, ‘I wish they’d call me something that would actually hurt, like "liar."'"
On being Latino in the age of Trump: "I was kicked out of an Uber two days before the election … because the driver didn’t like the subject of my film."
On the identity crisis of Latina teenagers: "Compared to black and white teens, Latina teenagers have the highest attempted suicide rates...This has become personal to me. This is my mission."
- Project Enye
- From Al Jazeera America: It's time to address the Latina teen suicide epidemic
- From the New York Daily News: Suicide rates among Latina teens skyrockets to new heights
Part Two: Dmitri Obergfell
Multimedia artist Dmitri Obergfell explores his mixed identity through an edgy art exhibit that mimics life in a local Latino neighborhood.
On a t-shirt with an image of a coyote, a clue to understanding “Federal Fashion Mart,” his installation: "My father was brought to the United States illegally by a coyote. And then on the back of the shirt there's a map of Mexico and the western United States. There's a little dotted line in the style of cartoon character coyote….This is the key to the exhibition, that really unlocks the whole the thing."
On his American mother: "My mother met my father on a horse racing track; my mother trained race horses. So I spent a good portion of my early childhood, up until I was 16, on horse racing tracks getting exposed to immigrant culture as well as horse racing culture, which is a whole thing in and of itself."