Where They’re Headed: Nico Kaplan ’19

Political science major and Spanish minor Nico Kaplan ’19 is exploring the relationship between political and cultural projects by working with documentary distribution company Argot Pictures to reach Spanish-speaking audiences and organizations that stand committed to supporting immigrant communities in NYC.

Political science major Nico Kaplan ’19 is taking his passion for U.S.-Latin American political relations somewhere surprising—a documentary distribution company in Brooklyn called Argot Pictures.

“I was hired to assist Argot Pictures founder, Jim Browne, in the distribution of seminal documentaries of the 1970s made by Les Blank,” said Kaplan. “I am looking forward to helping disseminate and expanding the awareness of potential audiences to two films, 1976’s Chulas Fronteras and 1979’s Del Mero Corazón, both of which illustrate the culture and music of the Texas/Mexico border of that time and continue to have a profound resonance today.”

This opportunity to work at the intersection of culture and politics came to Kaplan largely because he is bilingual. By minoring in Spanish, the New York City native was able to hone his Spanish-speaking skills while at Haverford.

“Through my Spanish coursework at Haverford and Bryn Mawr, I have sharpened and strengthened my Spanish fluency to the degree that I can serve as a liaison to the Mexican and Latinx communities that represent potential audiences and presenting partners throughout the five boroughs of New York City,” he added.

Kaplan arrived at this type of outreach work after having the opportunity to serve as a research assistant with Benjamin R. Collins Professor of Social Sciences Anita Isaacs. By working with Isaacs, Kaplan developed an expansive perspective on how he can work to support immigrant communities.

“Since my first semester of my sophomore year, my experiences as a student researcher for Anita Isaacs have focused on issues of immigration,” said Kaplan. “Whether helping her prepare affidavits for individuals seeking political asylum from Central America, conducting interviews and research in both Mexico and Guatemala, or working in consulting intensive courses with organizations such as the Inter-American Foundation, my relationship with Professor Isaacs created a newfound passion for studying and engaging with issues related to immigration.”

By broadening Kaplan’s understanding of political projects related to immigration, this research position helped him recognize the social importance of cultural access. As an assistant with Argot Pictures, Kaplan is able to operate within an exciting cultural sphere while also continuing to invest himself in the political projects he worked on with Isaacs.

“Working at Argot Pictures has afforded me a window to discern how my interests can apply to a professional environment where I can be politically engaged and active,” said Kaplan. “My goal is to stay engaged with the interests and subjects that fascinated me while studying at Haverford.”

“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.