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Touching up my roots

Sep. 4, 2017
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Touching up my roots

In this kickass video essay from The Light Leaks founder Kim Hoyos, Nanichi Oliva explores the link between her cultural background as an African-American Latina and her hair. It's an intimate portrait of Nanichi's relationship to her natural hair and all that it signifies, and Nanichi's perspective on being an Afro Latina is one worth hearing.

In explaining why she made the video, Kim says, "I wanted to create a video on Nanichi because her story as an Afro Latina is one I cannot tell as a white-passing Latina. There is so much internal racism in the Latinx community, all stemming from ignorance, and I wanted to create a video to serve as a marker of educating oneself by listening. I could never speak to Nanichi's struggle—only listen to her and truly hear her life. I've known her for around four years now, and her journey towards acceptance and celebration of her hair and identity has been beautiful to watch. I could only hope that this video can help educate and bring hope to those who need it. I'm incredibly interested in documenting the intersection of identity and film through a female gaze, so this video means a lot to me."

Nanichi Oliva is a 22-year-old filmmaker and dancer originally from L.A. but currently based in New Jersey. She's interested in the power of one's soul and the art that can be created when boundaries are pushed.

Kim Hoyos is a New Jersey-based Latina filmmaker and photographer. She's independently directed, written, edited, and produced 7 short films, 4 webseries, 2 documentaries, and countless social media clips. She's very interested in creating narratives in film for women, especially WOC. Her biggest dreams include starting her own production company, hugging Lin-Manuel Miranda, and having perfect skin. In her free time, she attends Rutgers University as a senior studying Journalism and Media Studies and drinks a lot of soup.