En La Factoria: The Williamsburg Garment Workers (25min, New York, 1997); created with students from El Puente Academy for Peace and Justice. The video documents El Puente’s Integrated Arts Project and the history of the neighborhood in relation to garment factories, Latino emigration, gentrification and activism. Students examined the science, economics and social formations of the fashion industry and created interviews, monologues, songs, puppets, a hip-hop song, a dance performance, and a sustainable community market. Students, faculty, activists, and members of the community participated in the Project, which culminated in an outdoor fashion and art show.
The video includes aspects of the organizing campaign that had been mounted by several community organizations, including El Puente, around housing rights for the poor. At the time that we made the video, the city government had enacted zoning laws that threatened to displace large numbers of people from the community.
* The quality of the sound has been deteriorated by time. I'm working to fix it for later posts.
El Culebrero, la muerte de un colombiano y el acordeonista que no esta (10min, New York, 1996); inspired by magical realism and "Nadaista" poetry (experimental Colombian poetry popular in the 1960's) this experimental video incorporates elements of Colombian folklore and popular culture to tell the story of two closeted Colombian men who share their love under the specter of AIDS and self loathing, in Jackson Heights, Queens. The subtitles don't translate what the voice-over is saying to create a reflexive subtext and a commentary on translation and language. I argue that as emigrants, we operate in two parallel languages: one of intimacy, the other of survival.
I completed the video with funds from the New York State Council of the Arts grant in 1996.
*The quality of the sound has been deteriorated by time. I'm working to fix it for later posts.