Yvonne Mwale – From Zambia to Germany

This past semester, I was in an African music class and did a presentation on the Zambian musician, Yvonne Mwale. After doing some preliminary research, I quickly realized that Yvonne was sharing an incredible life story through her music, and creating some utterly moving pieces that touched me both emotionally and spiritually. I reached out to her via social media to see if she was interested in speaking with me so I could learn more, and have since created a podcast that features our interview and some of her songs.

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Eugenia Forteza – From France to Argentina to the United States

Singer, actor, model, and entrepreneur, Eugenia Forteza is a beautiful and charming young Argentinian-French woman living in New York City. Although she is a super busy and an extremely accomplished artist, Eugenia Forteza took time out of her day to share with me her story of immigration to the United States from Argentina, and spoke about the powerful multicultural aspect of opera in her life. Described as a “total diva on stage,” by Mario Arevalo, I was delighted and humbled that Eugenia shared her warm personality and enthusiasm for music with me.

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Jean-Yves Boulard – From France to the United States

Growing up, my family referred to the always smiling and always generous Jean-Yves Boulard as “the bread man.” I have fond memories of stepping into his bakery, begging my parents to let me have an extra sticky bun and choosing which baguette we would eat at dinner.

Now a college student, I was delighted to sit down with him and learn about his experience coming from France to the United States. We discussed French perceptions of America, his life-long love for learning, and the complexity of navigating different languages and discovering subconscious taboos when migrating to a new country. Truly a fascinating man of many talents, Jean-Yves described his story to me as having three threads; his professional path from teacher to baker, the switch from his native culture and language to a host one, and the story of his relationship starting in one country and language and deepening in another, all which “intertwine, reverberate, and influence one another.” What struck me most was when he remarked that “the fascinating aspect of the succession is that I could not have been a baker without having read all the philosophy and literature I did” prior.

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Sven Zepic – From Croatia to the United States

A foreword on Sven Zepic’s story by his girlfriend, Jenelle Senske.

Meeting Sven my freshman year of college four years ago has been, in more ways than one, absolutely life-changing for me. I always dreamt of being an immigration lawyer but never truly had any idea of what it was actually like to be an immigrant in the United States… and then I started dating one when I was eighteen! Sven and his family have opened my eyes in so many ways and have only made me more passionate about pursuing my future career. While the times we are currently facing are scary and unprecedented, it is certainly not the first time Sven and his family have faced struggles. From leaving their home and all they had known their whole lives in the midst of a terrifying war, the Zepic family has persevered and thrived in the United States. It is an honor and a privilege to know them. Enjoy this tiny bit of their story!

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From Morocco to Spain – Nara

The coast of Spain sits in the horizon, visible from a beach in Tangier, Morocco

This March of 2020, a majority of Americans are practicing social distancing by staying in our homes with Wifi and stocked pantries. Yet, we continuously complain as if social distancing is not actually a privilege. In times like these we should instead be grateful that we have a roof over our heads and a family to support us.

Back in June of 2019, I came into contact with Nara, an 18 year old Moroccan girl who currently resides in Sevilla, Spain. However, she had called Spain her home for little more than a year when I met her, and during our conversation she proceeded to tell me an amazing story about her choice to migrate to Europe.

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