marta v. martínez
marta v. martínez
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marta v. martínez

I live in Warwick, Rhode Island, work in Providence and am of Mexican heritage. I'm bilingual and bicultural — I don’t remember ever having a problem communicating in either language, and find it to be a great asset. I read, write and speak English and Spanish equally. Equally well or equally badly: that’s for others to decide.

I spent 9 years surrounded by Deaf individuals at Gallaudet University and am also fluent in Sign Language, which I guess makes me trilingual.

I grew up in El Paso, Texas with my parents, four sisters and brother. While a Junior in high school, I felt a strong desire to explore the world and then, while applying to various colleges, I realized that studying in another state would be a perfect way to explore and learn more about the world. That’s how I ended up at Providence College. It turned out to be a life-changing move, yet oftentimes, I felt lonely and out-of-place.

My dream was to become a television Journalist, but, since PC did not have a Broadcast Journalism major, I chose to be an English major. While there, I was exposed to many talented scholars and writers on the PC campus, who might have become my mentors had they been able to understand what it was like to be a displaced Latina.

An internship opportunity came up to work in television (local ABC station, WPRI TV-12) during my Junior year at PC. I worked there as an intern for two years and was hired full-time when I graduated (woo-hoo!) However, during that time I quickly realized that Broadcast Journalism was not the profession I wanted to pursue after all. What that experience taught me was that working behind the scenes was more powerful than being in front of a camera.

I am also a Community Oral Historian, an experience that came about organically when I moved to Rhode Island in 1991. Collecting the stories and voices of Rhode Island Latinos has become incredibly important for me because we, as Latinos, rarely are given the opportunity to share our history and to tell our story — if we don't tell our own story, no one else will and if we don't tell our own story, somebody else will. We can't allow that because our stories are so valuable.

This project has given me hope that our younger generations has the opportunity to learn about all the successes that Latino/Latino/Latinx individuals have had in this country, that they hear through these recorded oral histories the whole history of the Latinx community, and that they understand how celebrating our diversity makes us stronger, keeps us whole, and that you-we-they are a significant part of the now and future of this nation.
Camera in hand. In 2015, I set out to explore borders through the lens of a camera. I traveled for 15 months around the country with two cameras, multiple lenses, and an audio recorder at hand to document and record the stories of people, places and life in five border cities. This website documents these trips. This is where I reflect and write about how borders have shaped and continue to shape who I am today.
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