L.A. Students Use Video to Tell Personal Stories of Immigration and Migration
7.14.11 | Last month we wrote about Out the Window, an art installation project on Metro buses in Los Angeles that showed slice-of-life videos created by young people.
One goal of the project says Heidi Zeller, one of the organizers, is to help riders get to know their city through the eyes of fellow residents whose voices aren’t often heard.
“The idea was really, introducing L.A. to itself,” Zeller said in an interview on Southern California Public Radio last week, “and that it is such a large city, it is so spread out, notoriously, and we just wanted people to know what’s out there, who’s out there, who’s doing interesting things out there.”
The videos include a “24-hour cinematic celebration” of everyday life; stories from L.A.’s Filipinotown; and students’ own personal stories of immigration and migration.
“Barefoot Basketball” is part of the series called “How Did I Get Here?” produced by a team of young people working with the nonprofit group Public Matters. The video features 16-year-old Bien John Manalac, who came to the United States five years ago from the Philippines. Now a resident of L.A.’s historic Filipinotown, an area also known as Hi Fi, Manalac explains how life was different in the Philippines—in particular, the way he played basketball.
For more in the series, watch 18-year-old Miguel talk about his journey from a high school outcast to a nursing student with the help of his immigrant parents, or this moving portrait of 16-year-old Haydee and her mother, Lidia, who came to L.A. from Guatemala.
Additionally, one of Public Matters’ more interesting projects is its work with young people in Filipinotown to create location-based, mobile media tours of their neighborhood and its histories. Using GPS-enabled tablets, listeners can hear stories of immigrants from the past, and access photos and maps while walking around the neighborhood.
This fall, Out the Window has plans to show video about place (home, street, ‘hood) submitted by local artists on Metro buses. You can view more at the project’s website.
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