Memorias Callejeras, or Street Memories emerged as I was walking on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens. This story is about how sounds, smells and storefronts can awaken a nostalgia we have for our homeland and childhood. The smell of grilled meat and car exhaust still make me melancholy for Mexico City, but it consoles me to breathe this air until I can actually go back. Working on this project made me re-examine my desire to return to my homeland while trying to fulfill my life plans in the United States. I confess I don’t need to go back to my homeland to “feel” Mexican. The reality is that I will always yearn to return, even if it’s no longer the Mexico of my childhood memory. I will always come and go knowing I must enjoy the present wherever I may am.

Memorias Callejeras from Beatriz Gil on Vimeo.

This is the first time that I work in this audio-visual medium and I am interested in learning more in order to tell more stories. This story is a glance at what my experience has been as a 1.5 immigrant, in other words a child of immigrant parents. When my parents first saw these images, it made them remember everything they have struggled to be able to build a life in this country. I hope that other people can identity with this idea of feeling that Queens contains a little piece of their homeland… that you can build your home where you are.