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Quisqueyan@s in the Diaspora are growing in size and in reach. We have become the largest Latino group in New York City and are thriving in many mainstream spaces including music, sports, and literature. We attend universities and build conferences such as the National Dominican Student Conference. We are building our own political representation. We’ve even created competition in the market of beauty salons. Indeed, Dominican@s in the Diaspora are succeeding across various platforms.
And yet, we also live at the intersection of many struggles. We experience poverty, racism, xenophobia, and violence. Our conditions living abroad allow us to encounter these forms of oppression differently than at home. Colorism, classism, racism and machismo are different here than in the Dominican Republic; While racism here may be geared towards us as immigrants, racism in the Dominican Republic is geared towards darker Dominicans and Haitianos.This allows Dominicans living in the Diaspora to be in a unique position to analyze life here and in Quisqueya. We are in a place that is fit to acknowledge and fight different forms of oppression without dismissing or replacing the voices that currently exist in Quisqueya. We are also in a place that is fit to celebrate Quisqueya.
La Galería Magazine has been created precisely for this reason. As our mission statement reads, La Galería Magazine seeks to build strong ties among the Dominican Diaspora through projects that encourage dialogue, celebrate the community and inspire action. We are currently focused on the experience of those living in the United States, and hope to grow as our list of writers becomes larger.
Quisqueyan@s living en los Estados Unidos have formed a culture of their own. As I write this, I’m listening to my “Turn Up” playlist in the background, a mix of 90’s hip hop, Beyoncé, and some mean merengue hits. This playlist, in many ways, represents my experience as a Dominicana living abroad, and that of others. Dominicans who live abroad are a fusion of American and other Latino cultures with a big side of wepa. We eat mangú, rice and beans, and sometimes we buy pizza or arepas. Our 4th of July grills have burgers and hot dogs, with guineitos on the side. When we speak, our accent shines through. Those of us that are bilingual dare to feel in Spanish, while living in English. Many times we feel that we’re not enough when we are not fully bilingual. Those who only speak English are critiqued for not having learned Spanish, while those who only speak Spanish are attacked with remarks like “In America, we speak English”.
As an immigrant group, the preservation of our culture—whether that means having a flag in our windows or Googling “Dominican recipes”—is a form of resistance. The beautiful fashion in which our cultura makes its way into the communities that we build here is also changing as we grow in size. We feel nostalgia for Quisqueya, yet for many of us, places like Washington Heights are home.
La Galería Magazine is a space where we hope to acknowledge those nuances. Know that this is a space led by mujeres feministas. La Galería is safe, loving, welcoming, and much like the ones in Quisqueya, nuestra galería is also a place for stimulating dialogue to occur. Bienvenid@s!