Founded on the mission for Latinx students to reclaim, uplift and properly represent the Latinx community, Latinidad is a new magazine that is forging its ways among the intersection of creative expression and social justice. LSA seniors Jacqueline Delgado and Daniel Lopez developed the vision of Latinidad after searching through the University’ archives for Latinx representation and initiative. While Delgado and Lopez knew that Latinx students have contributed immensely to crafting the legacy of the University of Michigan, they also knew that evidence of these efforts were not as largely celebrated or recognized.
Most of these efforts were rooted in the Raza Art and Media Collective in 1974, a publication founded to spotlight and archive Latinx art through various mediums. This was especially revolutionary as it came about in a particularly harsh political climate and when Latinx voices were largely silenced in the Midwest. The journal only published four issues from 1976-1977, but Latinidad has decided to pick up the initiative in molding a space for Latinx students to preserve and culminate their experiences.
Latinidad released their first issue, “On the Border of Humanity,” in December 2018. This issue reloved around individual connections to humanizing immigration, the experiences as diverse as the vastness of Latin America. The magazine featured an expansive range of mediums, including poetry, personal narratives, art pieces, vignettes and photos. Latinidad prides itself on its collaborative process, which prioritizes all contributor’s voices in deciding each issue’s key theme.
Engineering senior Natalia Madrigal Martinez is an artist whose work is featured in Latinidad. In Latinidad, her contribution is in the form of a captivating painting, which she gave the title “La Frontera” to highlight the hypocrisies of the political conflict regarding the US-Mexico border.
When asked about the inspiration behind her piece, she said, “I was born in Mexico. I felt like I had to paint the division between our two countries because originally, this was all one land. The Mexicas and the Aztecs controlled this land called Azland. That was Mexican territory until the mid 1800s. So, I wanted to paint the broad difference between how Mexico and the US before, these free lands,where indigenous people were able to roam and appreciate nature. Now, it’s just this ugly, gross, soul-sucking border,” Martinez said.
LSA sophomore Ana María Sánchez-Castillo offered a reflection of her featured piece, “Prophetic Peregrination.” In addition to her position as an editor at The Daily, Latinidad is one of her primary outlets for self-expression and creativity.
“To me Latiniada means community and the concept of supporting each other and supporting each other's’ dreams and ambitions through that support and through this support, we can accomplish things in a system that wasn’t designed for us,” Sanchez-Castillo said.
After a critically received first launch, Latinidad released their second issue in January, “Cultivacion: Cultivating our Humanity,” revolving around the distinct experiences within the Latinx identity with future plans to release a third edition.
Founder Jacqueline Delgado had nothing but gratitude and high energy to offer as she elaborated on the outpour of community support.
“I feel really proud. I’m at the forefront of a big moment happening,” Delgado said.
Latinidad, by its very existence, is a revolutionary platform. Past initiatives to highlight Latinx involvement have struggled due to lack of institutional support. However, Latinidad is the accumulation of generations worth of student, faculty and community efforts to archive, preserve and uplift the diverse representations of Latinx identities. Combined with intentional intellectual, creative and community investment, it is clear that Latinidad is set for a path of success and flourishing.
Latinidad is steadily building its prominence, and the momentum will not be stopping anytime soon. Currently, content is being primarily produced electronically with hopes to see every issue have a print release. Latinidad will continue their efforts with an event titled “Latinx Journey in College” on March 22. Anyone interested in reading the issues of Latinidad can do so on their website.