“It’s not one story, it’s our story”
An artist’s vision of the Latinx experience
Local artist Alejandra Estefania is transforming artistic storytelling in Latinx communities by combining cinematic documentation with technology. Through the American Passport Experience, Alejandra turns real people into works of art utilizing a mix of photography, videography, music, poetry, physical and digital artwork.
Growing up in North Carolina, Alejandra felt disconnected from her identity as a Latina. It wasn’t until she attended art school in Miami that she was exposed to the various Latinx cultures present in the United States. She became inspired by the journeys of those around her and wanted to find unique ways to celebrate their stories.
“Culture is the main focus of my work and my principal source of inspiration,” Alejandra explains.
”I aim for my work to represent the diversity of the communities around me and empower them to take pride in their heritage.”
One of the goals of The American Passport Experience is to create a space for healing within Latinx communities and families. Alejandra was inspired by a conversation with her father that deepened her understanding of his struggles as an immigrant. “It healed how I felt and saw him, and it hit me too – the power of storytelling,” Alejandra says. “We’re able to forgive one another when we understand one another.” Part of the creative process involves collecting first-hand accounts of life stories and archiving them for future generations.
Last year during Hispanic Heritage Month, The American Passport Experience raised awareness of everyday contributions by Hispanic Americans. By showcasing their stories on social media, the Cultura, Courage y Fe campaign encouraged others to embrace their past and allow it to shape their present. Alejandra’s vision is to have Latinos identify themselves through her storytelling while also educating outsiders on how diverse yet unifying the immigrant experience can be.
Alejandra’s vision for The American Passport Experience will ultimately culminate into an immersive physical experience that utilizes cutting-edge technology to bring the stories collected into a new light. We’re excited to share our upcoming work. For more information or to schedule an interview with Alejandra, please contact me directly.