Tornado Project

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  • Colombia to Canada: A journey of self discovery and cultural identity.

    In this video, Emilio Borja discusses his journey with his cultural identity. Borja discusses topics such as his life before Canada, his reasons for coming to Canada, what he misses about Colombia, and what he likes about life in Canada. All these topics build up to Borja’s discussion of cultural identity. Borja tells us what he feels his personal cultural identity is and explains why he feels this way. Borja then explains his definition of cultural identity, and how he believes cultural identity is fluid and able to change over time. He also explains why he feels this fluidity can be both good and bad.
  • Community of Song: Latin Music in Sharing Identity and Promoting Cultural Humility

    In this video, Colombian-Canadian singer-songwriter Gerry Rozo, through a retelling of his personal experiences, explores the role of music in cultural identity and community-building. He discusses his journey to Canada, the progression of his music career, his thoughts on cultural humility in Canadian society, and the ways in which he believes music can be a conduit for both the preservation of cultural identity and promotion of intercultural communication.
  • I Am Not Just "The Girl From Bolivia": An International Student’s Experiences of Community in Bolivia and London

    This portrait delves into Maya Fernandez's story of being known as “the girl from Bolivia." The portrait illustrates Maya’s feelings towards this phrase and how her experiences “as an outsider” have impacted her experiences in the London community. Maya is a second year MIT international student at Western University who explores the certain interactions that she has faced. She then compares how relationships are developed in both Bolivia and London. She explains the social inequalities that she has observed, the stereotypes of being from another country, and what it’s like to be “an outsider" in London, Ontario. Overall, this portrait thoroughly describes Maya for the complex and unique being that she is, rather than just as “the girl from Bolivia.”
  • Small Country, Big Celebrations: The Role of Salvadoran Celebrations in Cultivating Identity and Belonging

    In this video, Claudia calls attention to a part of her culture that is often overlooked. In contrast to holidays celebrated in Canada, national celebrations in El Salvador take place out on the streets and bring together an entire community. She considers the major role that climate and religion play in building a sense of community in El Salvador. Drawing on childhood memories, she describes celebrations such as Virgen de Guadalupe, Día de la Cruz, and Semana Santa, which are all rooted in a shared religion. In addition, she reflects on the unifying power of street celebrations, and how they function to gather people of different backgrounds in a common place. In the conclusion, Claudia provides her definition of community which is influenced by her experiences with celebrations and traditions. Her definition further encompasses what it means to be a part of a community in a new country.
  • Seeing the World Through a Colombian Lens: Travel Stories from Roberto Mocetón

    Roberto Mocetón shares the cultural importance of travel in Colombia. He reflects on his motivations for personal travel after moving from Bogotá, Colombia to London, Canada with his family. Roberto views travelling as an opportunity to connect with his family, become more globally-minded, and pass along these values with his son. He highlights that travel is a way for us to learn from and connect with others. In this video, he also reflects on the similarities and differences between the role of travel in Colombian and Canadian cultures.
  • Cultural Connections: A Colombian's Journey to London

    In this video, we follow Alberto Alvarez as he journeys from Colombia to London. We will delve into his experience with being a new immigrant in Canada while also trying to understand what it is like to become part of a new culture/new community. Alberto then explains the process of reconnecting with his Colombian roots through the London community. Further, this project will seek to understand how culture and identity intertwine to create a distinct cultural identity that differs depending on who you are around at a specific point. Community Connections brings together music, image, and video to tell the story of a determined young man who grapples with his identity to become the bicultural community member he is today.
  • From the Manizales Home to the London Home: A Youth's Story of Immigrating from Colombia to Canada

    This portrait features an interview with Juan Gaviria. During this interview, he shares stories about his experiences of moving from Colombia to Canada as a youth with his family. Juan also shares his opinions on “what makes a home”. Juan talks about how he believes Colombia and Canada are both home to him, yet, he feels many differences between his two homes. In addition, Juan has also shared some specific stories about the challenges he has faced during his process of making London his new home as well as some of his heartwarming encounters in the London Latino-Canadian Community, that have helped to minimize these challenges for him. At the end of the video, Juan shares some examples of the events and activities in London that remind him of his heritage culture and his Colombia home. Juan’s sense of “home” indicates his sense of belonging to his new community. This also marks that his journey of settling in London has shaped his new identity as a Latino-Canadian. In addition, his stories have vividly illustrated the importance and impacts of cultural humility and have demonstrated how an understanding of only the surface culture without an understanding of the deep culture can cause misunderstandings and lack of respect among individuals who have different cultural backgrounds.
  • Maintaining & Sharing your Cultural Identity: Through Education, Exposure, & Experience

    The video explores the cultural identity of Jose. A. Casanova, with a particular focus on how food serves as reminder of where he has come from. We not only talk about how food has shaped who he is today, but also the people who have influenced him significantly, including his mother. Over time, his core values have not diminished despite a change in location. Through passing on values from his Venezuelan culture and his wife’s Colombian culture to his children, he actively encourages them to be culturally humble and to embrace their diverse cultural identity. He does this by emphasizing that they are not just from one community, but they are from three: Canadian, Venezuelan and Colombian. He provides advice on the best way to preserve one’s cultural identity, so that one can maintain one’s roots and not forget where one has come from. He also stresses on the importance of helping others because having gone through the challenges that come with being a new immigrant in Canada himself, he realizes a little help can go a long way.