Ethnic Studies NOW - Compton: LAnguage of Power (2016)

shot by: Arlene Mejorado

cut by: Sarah Garrahan

A short documentary shot on June 29th 2016 gives light to the struggles and dire need for ethnic studies in k-12 schools in Compton, CA. Through the voices of two Compton community members, Lucha Arevalo and Desiree Gaytan, a story is painted of what it is like to grow up a city with a unique history, a place of violence and neglect but also resilience and hope. They express how an ethnic studies education for youth will be an essential tool to healing the city and enabling it to flourish.

Sagrada Feminina (2016)

Filmmaker: Arlene Mejorado
Editor: Sarah Garrahan
Producer: Arabella Daniels

Este documental expone el trabajo del Colectivo Altoparlante compuesto por las jóvenes Olga Memeche, Obdulia Toto, Yenaira Catemaxca, y Francisca Catemaxca en Los Nacimientos de Xogapan, Veracruz, Mexico. El colectivo se enfoca en recolectar tradiciones, memorias, y practicas de las señoras ancianas de la comunidad con la intención de fortalecer la autonomía de la mujer.

La señora Doña Inés Escribano nos demuestra la preparación de una comida tradicional que se llama totoposte de frijol negro y Doña Felipa Toto nos cuenta sobre sus sabidurías como partera de mujeres embarazadas en la comunidad. También nos demuestra una tallada de la matriz. Las jóvenes intentan un remedio hecho por la hoja de la maravillosa y comparten sus experiencias como mujeres en la comunidad y sus preocupaciones por recursos de agua y el futuro ambiental.

Nicaribbean Music Project (2013)

shot by: Arlene Mejorado & Taelor Smith

cut by: Arlene Mejorado

The music heard and created in Nicaragua's Caribbean coast is distinctly different from anything heard on the Pacific side of the country. Afro-descendant Bluefields musicians are using their art to engage in a process of self-making that disrupts hegemonic ideas of “Nicaraguan-ness” as defined by Pacific-based mestizo cultural forms. By identifying with Black Caribbean influences, musicians build their afro-identified pride and consciousness that aligns themselves with the African Diaspora on the Caribbean. By making these forms their own they are asserting an identity particular to their regional experience and history.

Shot & Cut by Arlene Mejorado

As Austin is often called the live music capital of the world, few would know that it is also home to a vibrant tribal scene that is far from the popular “pointy boots” videos most people associate with the music. DJ Leslie Cavazos shares her thoughts on the genre as one of the leading DJs in Austin and who fuses English and Spanish, tribal, hip hop, norteno, and more for Austinites. Mexican-American and Central American youth are also influencing the scene with their expression through clothing style such as “botas chatas”, freestyle and coordinated dances, and “clikas” that revolve around dance battling. Austin’s unique tribal scene isn’t part of the downtown “hipster happenings” but has developed mainly out of quincenera parties and clubs on the outskirts of the city.

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