Saturday, December 11, 2010

A movie for the movement, not for the class

In my Visual Research Methods class we were given assignments to create movies.  For the activists in the class (and there were a lot of us!) we came upon some issues of audience and purpose.  Before this class I was experimenting in making movies for "the movement"; basically capturing actions and activism of different movements I am involved in: the student movement, the immigrant's rights movement, the undocumented student movement, the feminist movement, the queer rights movement,  the anti-racist movement, the worker's rights movement, the media justice movement, the global health movement and every combination and connecting movements.  But in making films for this class I was to make films based in the film and media theory we were learning and my audience was my professor and my classmates.  Things I was doing such as putting up video clips with my "voice" coming across as text between clips asserted myself as the voice of authority, and putting music to the images is a manipulative tool to incite emotions.  I needed to push myself to create self-reflexive films as well as to think about the ethical consequences of revealing people's full names, legal statuses, and locations.  At one point I had to make an ethnography and I was challenged to do so without doing it on a group that necessarily trusted me.  This pushed me to think about what should be done in terms of relationship building before filming people.  However, my work for class still differs from my work for the movement.  I would not place text on video or photographs for a class project, but I would for an educational video.

This brings me to what I am posting here: Eddie, an organizer for the a local day labor organizing center asked me to make a film of this years actions that the Day Laborers have been involved with to show at a recent event.  The funny thing is that afterward everyone was asking me to please put it on the internet.  Many of these people were part of or associated with the people who were considerably "concerned" over my video "Una Mirada a los Invisibles" being on the internet for fear of inciting Minute Men backlash.  I was wary and decided against it.  My video was then shown on Pitzer College's campus (and I was notified about 10 minutes in advance) at one of their weekly Day Laborer/student "Encuentros" and the next thing I know I am being asked to please put it on the internet so that the organizing center can put it on their website.  I finally decided to do it.  Since its on the internet I thought I might as well share it on my blog for all to see, so here it is:


  1. this is really an amazing video. the way you were able to capture the actions and events that happened throughout the year was excellent. videos that capture and depict issues pertaining to the immigration reform movement, at any level, are very hard to come by. great job.

  2. Contradiction, flexibility, competing desires and goals: this is activist media!