Thursday, December 9, 2010

Part 4. On the 1.8 Million Dreams Project

  The 1.8 Million Dreams project was much like the traditional digital story and basically identical to the institutional digital story in that the group would come in and capture the person’s story of being undocumented using expensive, professional equipment and uploading it to their website. Unlike the traditional and institutional forms however, the project members were not exactly outsiders as four out of seven of them were also undocumented and 1.8 Million Dreams was not in fact an institution. It appeared that 1.8 had two goals according to their website: to “serve as a resource for those currently working on undocumented student issues at the state and federal level” and “to empower the current 1.8 million undocumented students across the United States by putting a face to the number.” They believed that the storytelling process would benefit the specific students and that the captured stories would also help to further immigration reform.

Their videos are formulaic. They were created in an interview format, with the interviewer out-of-frame and asking the same open-ended questions to each subject: “how did you come to this country”, “how was it growing up and going to high school in the US”, “what were struggles you have faced” and “what are you doing to help pass the DREAM Act?” This formula in many ways mirrors the typical AB540 testimonial in which students were coached to talk about their lives and the struggles they faced as a student.

Here is a little more on that:

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting to think what happens when the institutional role is not played by institutions or experts. Or are the 1.8ers experts because they experience it? Also, how does filmmaking force us into these roles no matter that we don't fit them, or want them, when the camera is not there?