Stories of the Diaspora

Si, Soy Negro: A Documentary Series

Written by: Michael Santiago

Si, Soy Negro is part of a documentary-based series of short films where questions relating to identity are asked to several different participants. It is an intriguing study of racial and cultural identification among people of Dominican descent. The plan for the project is a long term study with individuals of Dominican descent ranging from those still living in Dominican Republic to those who live abroad in different areas throughout the United States. The reason why I created this series is to bring a stronger dialogue on the subject of race and identity in the Dominican community and to give individuals who identify as Afro Latin@ a voice and a platform to speak on their experiences. In these videos, there is no narrator. The only voice that you hear are the participants because it is their voice that matters. We live in a world where people love to tells us who we are and never give us chance to make that decision for ourselves. The intention of this work is to never enforce a certain view unto people, but more to give people an opportunity to hear why people identify with what they do.

If anyone is interested in participating in Michael’s project, email him at


Michael Santiago (@Msantiagophotos) is a photographer based between New York and Oakland, CA. Michael is a graduate of San Francisco Art Institute, where he received his BFA in Photography. His work focuses on issues concerning people of color and their communities; ranging from issues surrounding obesity, cancer, race and identity, family relatioSantiago_Michaelnships, healthy eating, youth empowerment and more.  He is the recipient of the 2015 Alexia Foundation student grant for his project “Stolen Land, Stolen Future” a body of work focusing on Black farmers of California. His project “250” a work revolving the life of a man’s struggle with obesity won the 2014 Forward Thinking Museum 1st quarter photography competition and his projects, “A Promise”and “Micha
el the Veteran,” were selected as juried winners for Morpholio Projects Future Voices. He was also invited to attend the 2015 New York Times portfolio review and this fall will be attending the Eddie Adams Workshop XXVIII.



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