Shelby Lopez

Identity through Connection


A note about the film:

The film that I have produced is called Identity through Connection. It covers the story of Alai Reyes- Santos, who grew up in Cidra, Puerto Rico. Since she was young, she strived for adventure, and this made her want to migrate to college away from her native Puerto Rico.

It was in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where she immersed herself into the environment of college. While finding community by joining activists groups, she learned how important it was to be apart of something bigger, like groups who were fighting for a cause. Alai learned that activism can help shape the way a person views the world. With this idea in mind, she decided to take a gamble and migrate to San Diego, California, to attend the University of California, San Diego where she earned her doctoral degree.

Even though this was a tough move for her, she quickly got involved with people who fought for the same things she believed in, such as the Anti-War movement.These experiences with activism reinforced her identify as a woman of color and afro-Latina woman within U.S. culture.

I decided to name my movie, Identity Through Connection. When doing my interview with Alai Reyes-Santos, she described her experiences being in school groups, political groups, and even religious groups. When I listened to her tell these stories, I realized that these groups helped her shape they way she viewed her own self and it made her see the world differently. Having these experiences with others can shape how a person identifies himself or herself as because they have people around them that go through similar things. So it is important to get involved with people who share similar passions, similar perspectives, and similar backgrounds because they will help you understand who you are as person and how you want to present yourself to the world. Showing this importance will help others gain an understanding of how these groups do not just give to the greater good, but can help the individuals themselves.