Camila Rodríguez López

2022 Undergraduate Research Fund Awardee
Undergraduate Film & TV Class of 2024

Camila Rodríguez López headshot

Raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Camila Rodriguez Lopez is a student at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where she is majoring in Film and Television Production as well as in Social and Cultural Analysis. Through her work, Camila is interested in amplifying the voices of those systematically overlooked, and to tell their stories from intersectional perspectives and a non-traditional point of view.


Untitled Short Doc: Gentrification and Brain Drain in Puerto Rico

“I think that people don't want nice messages… Puerto Rico wants action, Puerto Rico wants and deserves something better” - Bad Bunny, 2022

Puerto Rico is one of the few remaining colonies in the world, and has been a colony of the United States since the Spanish-American War of 1898. Although Puerto Rico’s status has changed over the years until the creation of the present Commonwealth status in 1952, the colonial nature of the relationship has remained unchanged.

In recent years, Puerto Rico has found itself in a constant crisis that affects many aspects of life for the island’s residents, such as economic austerity measures, political corruption, and the failed reconstruction after natural disasters, like with the inefficient recovery efforts after hurricane Maria, and most recently, hurricane Fiona. The outrage after the clear incompetence of the government climaxed in the historic social movement that took place in the Summer of 2019, when Governor Ricardo Rosselló was forced to resign by mass mobilizations - led mostly by women and youth activists. These events marked a change for my generation: we experienced a political awakening that has set the tone for the current Puerto Rican social attitudes surrounding political action and awareness.

The idea for this project started after experiencing the disconnect between the lived experience of recovering from hurricane Maria, and the media representation of these events. Hearing about something so devastating for our communities being misconstrued was frustrating, but it also revealed a sense of responsibility in me to create media that amplified the voices of people, that could contribute to social impact and change.

These events, although discussed in order to talk about human and civil rights, as well as environmental justice, have been portrayed from a very limited perspective. This research project aims to get a better understanding of the socio-economic and political structures behind Puerto Rico’s current crisis with the intention of creating media that effectively communicates the experiences and perspectives of the people of Puerto Rico. It is conceived as a contribution to the analyses and debates of our communities. These analyses will tell us where we are now and how we got here. A necessary step to implement the changes that will allow us to overcome the limitations of colonial economic and social oppression. In other words, to exercise our right to self determination.