- Tell us about yourself and what kind of work that you do? I am an artist and filmmaker. I make work that represents me and the people I grew up with and have been surrounded by. My dad and I migrated to Jersey city NJ from the Dominican Republic when I was young. So my work comes from a diverse, immigrant perspective. I am a RISD graduate in Film, Animation and Video and I currently work freelance in RI. I like making animations, videos and multi media projects about women, black and latin people and the experience of being a minority in the U.S. I’ve had the privilege of being recognized for my artwork and that has led me to take positions in conversations that few people with my background have had. My goal to help change the way minorities are represented in art an in media. This is a personal thing I want to see more of myself in the world, that’s it.
2. TWP has been working to pass a bill that codifies Roe V Wade into RI state law. We are interested in the ways that Reproductive Freedom impacts your life and the work that you do? The idea that my reproductive freedom is in danger, and that what I choose to do with my body and my life can be determined by a majority male government troubles me a whole lot. First off, reproductive freedom impacts my personal journey. I am ambitious, hopeful and I’m looking forward to the development of my career and the future contributions I can bring to this world. I believe that being able to choose when and if I want to reproduce allows me to determine my own path and look out for my safety. Having a baby is a decision I need to be allowed to make for myself because I am the one who lives in this body and giving birth is a serious procedure that could put my body in jeopardy. It’s important for me to decide whether I want to bring human to this world because that is a life that I would need to look after and care for properly and willingly, otherwise I would be doing an injustice to another human being. In terms of my work, I’m focused on developing art narratives about womanhood, it is necessary for me to talk about women’s reproductive freedom and to encourage women to take control of what happens with their bodies.
2a. What about the lives of the people who you affect with your work? I think people in low-income minority communities are greatly affected by reproductive freedom. Young people in these communities they usually don’t have access to many resources, so they need to have an out, because again, having a baby is a really big responsibility. It’s important that we protect women’s reproductive freedom in underserved communities if the goal is to help them prosper.
2b. The lives of the women in your personal life? Most of the women in my personal life take reproductive freedom as just freedom. I have very diverse friends with differing opinions on abortion but they mostly understand that this is a choice for the person who is living it to make. I see the women in my life challenging the past societal perceptions on sexuality, they’re navigating a world in which they ‘re constantly checked and tried and I’m pretty sure they don’t like it.
3. When you think about your community (or communities) what is something you would like them to know about Reproductive Freedom in RI? Why? I would like to let them know more information about reproductive freedom and its importance to the way we choose to live our lives. I’d want to see my community teaching and conversing about sexuality and the necessity each person has to take care of their own bodies. I’d like to let them know more about female anatomy and help equalize the way we talk about women. I think that there’s a lot of misinformation out there and I really think it’s necessary to start and maintain a dialogue that can clear things up.
4. What are the best ways in your opinion to educate people about this issue? Sexual education in schools that is clear an equal and doesn’t rely on scaring or attacking girl’s morality is the best way to educate people about reproductive freedom. It’s as simple as this, young people need to have the facts about their bodies and it needs to be mainstream and accessible. I think a lot of adults need to know more about their bodies too so maybe having more information going around in the media that explains the issue of reproductive freedom and really just making all of this normal to talk about.
5. Is there anything else you would like to add? There’s a lot of stuff out there that opposes or demonizes women’s reproductive freedom and condemns them. As a young woman I can see how we internalize these arguments when we don’t have the words to back ourselves up. I think that we need to fix this, that we need to protect each other and give each other the back up we need. I mean that we need to have more conversations about our rights and we need to have more women who have been affected by this rhetoric speak so we have to give them the facts, the words that they need to know.