Standing between borders

I am Mexican, a woman, a dancer, a clown, a student from my university and a part of something much greater when I engage in a narrative that surpasses myself. I am not particularly good with technology, but I understand and learn through stories, which is why I study Communications. I am the youngest of my siblings and my family’s’ ancestry is mainly Spanish and Cuban, although not much emphasis was put on that area when I was growing up. So my approach to migration has been mostly influenced by what I see in the media. Through videos, documentaries and stories I have understood that the sense of community comes from the perspective of oneself as “the other”. This need to explore belonging as a response to being an outsider is what constructs identity, community, and even leaves some people behind with the label of “migrants”. And although I have never met any migrants in precarious situations, the portrayals of their stories have moved me, and I believe that is where change starts from.

I am many things and could fit into many communities, however my true community is my family and friends, as it is with them that I feel at home. It may not sound like much, but I believe the feeling of friendship and companionship that I receive from these circles surpasses any hardship, which is why communities exist. It is because of them that I find courage where I thought there was only fear. I am grateful to have these people, and happy to know that the most important communities in my life can expand regardless of the differences we may have. I talk to them through social media, and learn what their interests are by what they post or talk about. It is no longer a problem if they are far away or have “migrated” because media has become a link that reflects our emotional connection. I will continue to expand as much as I can the idea of constructing myself focusing on how I am similar to others, so that maybe one day my biggest community will have no borders, and be the world.

This personal narrative was written at the 2016 Salzburg Academy on Media and Global Change. It exists as part of a digital publication which explores how personal stories and human connections can enable us and others to be more inclusive, responsive, and understanding of migrants and the socio-political-cultural impacts of migration.