Growing up in a city filled with diversity is a gift we can easily take for granted. No matter what your background is, you can find someone that looks like you in New York City. It is a place filled with all different types of communities. Sharing culture while surrounding ourselves with people that both understand or have an interest in learning about us provides a feeling of inclusion. Generally, most of us want to know that we are part of something, whether it is to be included in communities, teams, clubs, or cliques that share common ground. Gravitating toward those that are similar to us can be comforting.
The recently released documentary More than Other by Canadian-Brazilian filmmaker Romano Pizzichini opens viewers to an underground world of sorts. Latin Americans are the fastest-growing population in the UK but have not been given a voice. Unfortunately, the rapid increase in the population has not been enough to be seen — until now. The short film is raising awareness, shedding light on the voices that are outside of the majority in the UK.
London’s sightseeing is a highlight reel of the Tower of London, London Eye, Tower Bridge, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. There is a spot that is not widely talked about or visited by most residents and tourists. The Tottenham location, named Sisters Indoor Market, is also known as the Latin Village or Pueblito Paisa. It is the home away from home for South Americans looking to play dominos, get haircuts or enjoy a taste of home. Asylum seekers from Colombia’s civil war and immigrants flocked to London in the 1990s and 2000s. People migrated from Ecuador, Brazil, and Argentina decades ago and continue to fight for a place in their society, at the very least be recognized.
Latino-Brits have been the invisible ethnicity; although their visibility in the arts has increased in recent years, it has not been enough to give the group proper political representation. Checking the box “Other” in their national census or official forms has severely marginalized Latin Americans in that country. According to Krishmary Ramdhun, a co-founder of the campaign group LatinXcluded and who is featured in Pizzichini’s documentary, the task to find the Latino-Brits in the UK has been challenging due to the lack of recognition by the government. It is a breakdown in the processes that will take time and effort to change. If you cannot relate to other races or ethnicities, I find it tough to change the systems.
We live in a country that is by far full of imperfections, injustices, and difficult times caused by the inability of our government to join together to do what is best for all of the people — not just some interest groups. However, Latinos in the United States today have a voice and are being seen more than ever before for many reasons. Among the influences are having purchasing power, strong political leaders on every level, and affluent communities in an array of industries. We are rising to the occasion as we stand united to make each one of us count. Hopefully, this goal will be achieved globally, in time, by all Latino groups.