We’re launching a new blog series called “Meet the CAAM Fam” — so you can get to know more about our staff members! The first person is Krystal Fernandes, who recently joined CAAM as our Events Production Manager! Below, she answers a few questions:
How do you identify yourself?
Ethnicity has always been a confusing thing for me to define. Generations ago, my family lived in Goa, a formerly Portuguese colony located in present-day India. However, I’m Canadian-born and my parents and grandparents were born in Kenya and Tanzania, so how do those cultures factor into the equation? There probably isn’t an answer to that, but I find the ambiguity of it to be fascinating. Who I am ethnically and culturally has been significantly shaped by colonization and immigration.
What places have you lived?
I was born and raised in and around Toronto, Canada.
What was your first interaction with CAAM?
A couple of friends invited me to attend CAAMFest34’s Opening Night program, TYRUS. This was my first time intentionally thinking about Asian Americans in media. I remember thinking to myself “Wow, I really don’t see people who look like me on the big screen and, when I do, they’re rarely portrayed in a good or non-stereotypical light.” Since then, I’ve started to notice the effect that pop culture has had on how I view my own self-worth. I now feel empowered to make conscious choices about the things I watch, listen to, and read.
What’s your role at CAAM?
As the new Events Production Manager, I’m excited to start preparing for CAAM’s year-round public events.
What is something about your job that people may not know about?
Events and operations people tend to work in the shadows. We strive to keep things running seamlessly even when life decides to throw a wrench into the gears.
What are three Asian American media pieces that you think people should know about, and why?
Pixar short Sanjay’s Super Team teaches us to value our culture, Lisa See’s book On Gold Mountain teaches us to remember our history, and the Netflix series Master of None teaches us how to navigate the present.