Undocumented and Unafraid: An Evening of Film & Conversation, April 13

What: Undocument and Unafraid: An Evening of Film & Conversation

When: Friday, April 13th, 2012, 6pm–9pm

Where: 934 Brannan Street (between 8th & 9th), San Francisco, CA 94103

How much: $5 admission, NOTAFLOF. Click here for advance tickets.

Drawing upon the work of four bold filmmakers, we will participate in a dialog about what we can do as artists and individuals to create a sea change in the social and political climate currently faced by undocumented youth and adults, and to challenge the dominant frame of criminality and punishment.

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 “Immigration represents a major human rights battle of our time, with deportations surpassing a record-breaking 1,000,000 and Congress failing to enact any type of legislation that would provide relief to the estimated 12 million undocumented. In 2010, 250 anti-immigrant laws and resolutions modeled on Arizona’s SB1070 were passed, while 2011 yielded devastating state laws in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Utah.” – Favianna Rodriguez, CultureStrike

Between films we will discuss with these directors the intersection of creativity and activism, the role of independently produced media, community challenges, and tactics for grassroots resistance. Perhaps most importantly, we will gain a deeper understanding of the actual experience of being undocumented from the directors and audience members whose daily realities include a deficit of rights and opportunities.

Screenings include an excerpt from “Under Arpaio” by Jason Aragón, a full screening of “Sin País” by Theo Rigby, and a collection of shorts by Dreamers Adrift co-founders Jesus Iñiguez and Julio Salgado.

About Under Arpaio: Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio is world renowned as the self-proclaimed Toughest Sheriff in America”. He is infamous in the media through his antics of forcing inmates to wear pink underwear, work on chain gangs and live in tents. Arpaio is also an unapologetic crusader against illegal immigration. What is less known are people’s stories of how their communities are affected by the media attention and tactics used by the Sheriff.

This documentary shows the people in the Phoenix area rarely seen in the national spotlight, yet who are on the front lines as Arpaio continues to conduct raids on migrant and Latino neighborhoods, ignore bad jail conditions, and waste hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money. “Under Arpaio” features activists, low-income residents, attorneys, reporters, elected officials, and indigenous people who speak truth to power.

“Under Arpaio” is currently on a grassroots tour and fundraising campaign. To find out more or to contribute, please visit http://underarpaio.com.

About Sin Pais: “Sin País” (Without Country) attempts to get beyond the partisan politics and mainstream media’s ‘talking point’ approach to immigration issues by exploring one family’s complex and emotional journey involving deportation.

In 1992, Sam and Elida Mejia left Guatemala during a violent civil war and brought their one-year old son, Gilbert, to California.  The Mejia’s settled in the Bay Area, and for the past 17 years they have worked multiple jobs to support their family, paid their taxes, and saved enough to buy a home. They had two more children, Helen and Dulce, who are both U.S. citizens.  Two years ago, immigration agents stormed the Mejia’s house looking for someone who didn’t live there.  Sam, Elida, and Gilbert were all undocumented and became deeply entangled in the U.S. immigration system.

“Sin País” begins two weeks before Sam and Elida’s scheduled deportation date. After a passionate fight to keep the family together, Sam and Elida are deported and take Dulce with them back to Guatemala.

With intimate access and striking imagery, “Sin País” explores the complexities of the Mejia’s new reality of a separated family–parents without their children, and children without their parents.

For more information, please visit: http://sinpaisfilm.com/.

About Dreamers Adrift: Dreamers Adrift is a creative project ABOUT undocumented youth, BY undocumented youth, and FOR undocumented youth.They are trying to document the undocumented. They are putting their lives on display through videos, art, music, spoken word, prose and poetry.They are 4 Lives… 4 College Grads… Representing 1 DREAM for countless others.

“Their recent  “Undocumented and Awkward” episodes have brought national attention to what is really like to live as an undocumented human being in the United States. Through humor, they try to tackle issues that range from blind dates to the intersectionality of being queer and undocumented. Though they support the passage of the DREAM Act, a bipartisan legislation that would give undocumented youth a path to citizenships, these videos are also an empowering tool for youth and their parents alike to empower themselves and not feel like criminals.”

For more information, please visit: http://dreamersadrift.com/.

About the Organizer:

Undocumented and Unafraid: An Evening of Film & Conversation was organized by Favianna Rodriguez and CultureStrike as part of I Am Crime: Art on the Edge of Law, a SOMArts Cultural Center exhibition March 9–April 19.


Image above by Dreamers Adrift artist Julio Salgado