Santa Fe Dreamers Project – The New American Dreamers.
Photo and interview by Sylvia Johnson
The number one thing I always tell myself is, “I wanna make six-year-old Ali proud.” Cuz she was the one with all the absolute insane dreams that I wouldn’t tell anyone. I always loved music and liked the thought of the mechanics behind it, but I never really thought I would be able to do it.
My radio show is called Sonic Air Waves. I started kinda coming up with the idea when I was fifteenish. I was like, “I wanna play music that I like and I wanna be able to talk about stuff.” My first show was nothing, but they had the setup, the studio, and they literally just let people come in. I think I interviewed like five people that day and I was so scared. By the end of it I was like, “what just happened?” It feels cool that I’m one of the only girls and from the small percentage in this widely male- and older people-dominated industry. I think people get a little surprised. The most challenging thing is not freaking out on yourself. I’d like other girls to know that it’s not a big scary kinda thing. You might run into people that’ll be like, “well why would you be doing that?” But you gotta keep to yourself. I’m doing what I’m doing and I’m good at it, so I’m gonna keep doing it.
— Ali, 17
The New American Dreamers highlights the stories of some of the incredible Dreamers in our community. Created by photographers Sylvia Johnson and Kerry Sherck, and produced in partnership with the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, The New American Dreamers is a positive reframe of who many of the immigrants living in our community are. Their stories reflect the dreams, hopes, challenges, and ambitions that are inherent to all of us as human beings. In the context of such a toxic narrative currently being perpetuated about immigrants in this country, our goal with this project is to flip the perspective through stories of incredible Dreamers who are our friends, clients, and neighbors.
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