As the night drew to a close, Itzelt Reyes ’19 walked onto the dimly lit stage of Susie’s and began to recite a spoken word poem, written during her Lower year, about her Mexican identity. With the poem’s conclusion, the audience cheered Reyes on for her performance.
Reyes, an organizer and performer at the event, said, “I was really angry over the fact that the President, who shall not be named, was saying mean things about who [Mexicans] were as people. So I was that one Lower who was really frustrated because that was not who I was. He told a lot of lies about who we were and I looked at myself and realized that I was nowhere near who he said I was, so I share that now because there is a lot of turmoil around Mexicans with the wall and the immigration camps.”
Saturday, the International Club hosted their International Showcase (iShowcase) to finish off their annual International Festival. The event was a talent show that allowed students to showcase various performances revolving around their international identities.
“We like to be able to showcase talent that different people have from around the world, so we had several acts of talents like the poem, the singing, and the guitar. We didn’t have too many technical difficulties which was great. Everyone who performed did an excellent job, and we had a good turnout with great crowd reception,” said Piper Drew ’20, an event organizer.
According to Reyes, the talent show provided a comfortable platform for international students to perform talents or acts that usually go unrecognized in the Andover community.
Reyes added, “We just want to foster the idea that there is a lot of diversity here in showcasing skills that we don’t normally pay attention to as normal everyday Andover students. With this event, we bring the spotlight to international students so that we can make them feel comfortable with who they are and the idea of being proud of the skills that they bring to campus.”
According to Reyes, iShowcase highlighted the individuality and uniqueness of other various countries. Performances like a singing of a classic martial arts song by Peter Wu ’22 put a cultural twist on the traditional singing act.
Wu said, “Since the topic of this iShowcase was about performance about respective cultures, I chose this Chinese martial arts song to sing because it was pretty classic. I thought it would be a good display of Chinese culture because martial arts really is an integral part of the Chinese culture. I wanted to give our fellow students a glimpse into that part of the culture.”
Daniel Dominguez ’21, a member of the audience, enjoyed the various performances. Although he initially attended to watch his friends in Fusion perform, the show as a whole exceeded his expectations.
“I think the international community isn’t really given a platform to display that part of their identity, and it was cool getting to see that aspect of them, like my friends, on stage,” said Dominguez.