DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — We have been continuing to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and highlighting different Hispanic stories surrounding culture and more. Ilyana Capellan interviewed one Latina cultural storyteller and filmmaker known for a documentary called “Being Enye”
Denise Soler Cox is dedicated to helping people transform how they experience the culture, identity, and what it means to belong. She’s built a reputation for being a speaker who has the rare ability to shine a light on a sensitive and often ignored topics with extraordinary clarity, honesty, and humor.
You can watch the interview Ilyana Capellan and Cox below above as well as read the transcript below:
Ilyana: Hispanic Heritage Month is something that spans from September 15th through October 15th, but for project Enye creator and host of the self-ish Latina podcast, Denise Soler Cox, spreading awareness about Hispanic heritage and being a first-generation Enye is a full time, year-round job. Denise joins us now; Denise, thank you much for being with us today.
Denise: Thanks so much for having me.
Ilyana: Of course, I’m so excited to have you, so I watched project Enye a couple of weeks ago, and that kind of sparked my interest in everything so tell me exactly what is an Enye and how did you come up with this movement?
Denise: Yeah so at my first kind of ideation of it, an Enye is a person who is American born and who has at least one parent from a Spanish speaking country. And as the project has evolved, anybody that experiences this dual identity anyone that feels ni de aqui, ni de alla, anybody who feels pulled between their Latinidad and also their American side of themselves should absolutely be able to consider themselves an Enye.
Ilyana: Amazing and you kind of touched on it, but Latinidad, what is that? As soon as I heard it I related it to that scene from “Selena” where Abraham is talking to Selena and AB in the van and he’s saying, you know we have to be Mexican enough for the Mexicans and American enough for the Americans and it’s exhausting all at the same time. So what is that to you?
Denise: Yeah so I actually remember exactly where I was when I watched that scene too and I had already had the idea for the film but I wasn’t doing it, and I was like oh my gosh there it is there’s that moment and it was so well described in this fictional, no, biographical story of Selena. And how I define Latinidad is what we consider our Latino, and all the pieces of it that we consider that identity would be I guess our latinidad. And It’s all very individual there is no right or wrong, and I think that is where we can get in trouble when we say well this is Latino and this is not, and this is Latino enough and this is not. The conversation ends up being like an egg or one of those Russian dolls where you open one and then there is another one inside and then you open that one and there is another one inside, and I’ve made it my full-time job to talk about this for the past 7 years and it’s really a fascinating topic.
Ilyana: That’s for sure, and I’m sure that the virtual world has kind of taken over especially now during COVID. And like you mentioned Hispanic Heritage Month, what does that mean to you?
Denise: Well it means that we get to be front and center. We get permission to talk about these things to put ourselves in front, and a lot of times we are kind of blending into the scenery, in my opinion too much. But this month, this month, which is funny because it’s actually two months but you know 30 days between two months, we get to, we kind of get permission to shine, and shine we must because there are so many amazing things about being Latino and we get to share that with everyone and anyone who is interested. So I do it 365 and I know a lot of other people that do it too, but at the very least people are caring the most I would say to hear from us now. So we have to show up for it.
For more information on Denise and all of her projects, follow the Project Enye Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/projectenye/ .