Pop-Up Magazine brings storytelling to life on stages throughout the U.S. but, in light of the pandemic, they’re bringing these stories to audiences online. In honor of Latinx Heritage Month they’ve compiled stories that are unique representations of the Latinx experience in the U.S. and Latin America. The show launched at the start of LHM with Documentary Filmmaker Juliana Schatz Preston’s story on Mimi—a teenage volunteer paramedic in El Salvador and Alejandra Vasquez’s film that follows a high school varsity mariachi band in south Texas.
This week “Public Speaking” by journalist Daniel Alarcón of NPR’s Spanish podcast Radio Ambulante premiered. In it, he discusses takeaways from a public speaking book he found in his homeland of Peru and explores the significance of the book beyond the text.
“I specifically asked Doug McGray (Co-founder and Editor in Chief of Pop-Up Magazine) if I could do something funny, because I was exhausted by the stories I’d done before, many of which were really heavy. So I wanted to play with this book, which I’d always loved, which always made me laugh, and give it the kind of consideration it deserved,” Alarcón tells Remezcla.
“The Serenade,” in which Los Angeles-based musician La Marisoul of the band La Santa Cecilia tells the story of Los Jornaleros del Norte, also premiered this week. The band is made up of day laborers (former and current) in LA. They perform in front of detention centers, City Hall and immigration marches, in support of the movement and undocumented immigrants.
“This story is both political and personal. When it comes to immigration you often see stories about farm workers or day laborers, but you rarely hear from those people directly. When we were considering potential narrators, we knew we wanted someone who had direct experience with the issue, and who was close to the people and communities involved,” Derek Fagerstrom, founding creative director and executive producer, special projects, tells Remezcla. “La Marisoul is such a brilliant performer, we were confident that she could navigate the emotional arc of the story—conveying both the tragic as well as the triumphant elements of the piece.”
Meanwhile, “Signed, JP” premieres Oct. 4. In that piece, ¡Hola Papi! advice columnist JP Brammer responds to questions from readers about Latinidad and identity. The full storytelling experience is the combination of narration and art with animation by Natalia Rojas Castro. The final story premieres Oct. 7 and features writer and Pop-Up Magazine contributing producer José Vadi. He shares the story of Rachel Smith and Alex Torres, two young strangers driven by a shared desire to use whatever skills they had to address the devastating effects of the pandemic in the Latino and African American communities.