Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chicanonautica: NeoAztecs Among Us

Once upon a time, before the Internet, I was turning in episodes of Brainpan Fallout on a floppy disc (remember them?) in a Mexican restaurant. I was careful not to get salsa on them. “This is like one of your stories,” someone said.

As a science fiction writer, I don’t try to predict the future. I just have a feeling for changes I see  happening and wonder What If, and If This Goes On. When I first started projecting Aztec and other preColumbian cultures into the future, it was seen as far-out and esoteric. Cortez on Jupiter, High Aztech, and Smoking Mirror Blues weren’t considered to be very bloody likely.

Now, in Silgo XXI, people keep telling me that the news seems like my stories, especially when things preColumbian manifest. 

This was from a news story from 2008:

Officials in Mexico City's governing body estimate that a decade ago there were about 50 Aztec revivalist groups in the capital. Today there are closer to 300, all part of a movement calling itself La Mexhicanidad, one of the fastest-growing urban subcultures around.
Also from the same year:
Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard wants all city employees, from hospital workers to bus drivers, to learn the Aztec language Nahuatl in an effort to revive the ancient tongue, the city government said.

And more recently, in a piece that compared the Aztecs to the Nazis, and criticized multiculturalism:
Imagine an alternative history where the Aztecs sail across the Atlantic Ocean to set up their pyramids of sacrifice in Paris.
And there are those who have given the Aztecs a New Age makeover, convinced that they were all really peaceful vegetarians, and all that talk about war and human sacrifice is just racist propaganda. You can see them climbing Teotihuacán and Mayan pyramids to recharge their energy on the Equinox.
More akin to my NeoAztecs and Aztecans is the Mexica Movement. Mexica being what the Aztecs called themselves.
Their website is interesting, going beyond the Chicano Movement’s visions of Aztlán. All the native peoples of the Américas including the mestizos (a word they don’t like) are one people, the Nican Tlaca, and their nation is Anahuac.
The United States of Anahuac . . . hmm . . .
Other words they reject are Hispanic and Latino, which they consider racist nods to European cultures.
I’d quote from them, but their homepage warns, in bigger letter than these:
They also have a page to help those who want adopt Nahuatl names.
I remember how thirty years ago, I was excited at meeting girls named Xochitl. These days I run into a lot of Nahuatl and Mayan names on Twitter and Facebook. Welcome to my world.
Meanwhile, our culture here in Anahuac is going Aztecan. Young people are being sacrificed, by each other, and by militarized law enforcement agencies. I wonder what gods they are being sacrificed to.
Ernest Hogan is addicted to getting published and to committing acts of creative blasphemy. He’s found people who think it's amusing, and who help him. He has made sacrifices over the years, and now there’s no stopping him.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Colores de la Vida

Review by Ariadna Sánchez

A vast variety of colors cover the universe. Their presence in the environment provides human beings with the inspiration necessary to create exquisite art pieces. Colors can cheer the spirit up in only seconds. They transform a lonely soul into a cheerful one by giving hope and serenity to it.
Colores de la Vida by Cynthia Weill has fabulous folk art by Artisans from Oaxaca, Mexico.  Weill’s perfect combination of art and colors results in a boost of power of the immense world of colors in English and Spanish. Page by page, Colores de la Vida is an open invitation to admire the beauty in our surroundings.
Visit your local library to check out other great books written by Cynthia Weill. Reading gives you wings!
For additional information regarding Weill’s work click the following link:
Listen in Spanish Cynthia Weill Interview

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Should Criticism Sting?

Michael Sedano

La Bloga’s Saturday columnist Rudy Ch. Garcia reviewed Boy Zorro and the Bully (El Niño Zorro y el Peleón). Published in English and Spanish, Rudy calls it “a Latino book” on how to handle bullying, finding Boy Zorro on the whole worthwhile. Click here to read the review and Comments from Rudy's July 26 column.

The publisher and author wrote back, objecting to calling Boy Zorro "a Latino book, arguing that "using Spanish merely makes the topic accessible to more readers". Author, Kat A. expresses restrained anger when she avers,

Rudy. Rudy. Rudy. You practically missed the book altogether. Starting with the misclassification of it as “A Latino Book”. This is a book about “Bullying”. You made it a book about Latinos and then used the book as a platform to go off into different tangents about race, skin color, lack of female representation…are you helping or hurting those who actually do something

The publisher, Katherine Del Monte, focuses on the positive messages the book conveys, only once tangentially acknowledging Garcia’s critique that illustrations paint everyone except one kid and the principal pink.

Mr. Ramos, the principal, does the right thing, stays strong, and all outcomes are favorable – no matter their skin color or race.

The author and publisher’s responses reflect one of those hard facts of writing: once the writer has sent the piece “out there,” it belongs to the reader. And the critic.

Sadly, "criticism" has come to mean its lowest common denominator, fault-finding and punishment, so people hate criticism. Maybe it's part of the national character, to take critique as a personal affront.

To be criticized is good. In its most exalted form, criticism compares a concept of perfection to the work at hand and declares how the piece at hand measures up to perfection. Most literary criticism reflects versions of the latter. It shouldn't sting. Indeed, it's an honor to be compared to perfection.

A reader or critic comes to a title with her or his own expectations for the book and reads it through the lens of expectation, plus one’s capacity for the writer’s style and invention. In writing the critique, the critic will say what he or she likes, what he or she doesn’t like, and offer qualitative observations related to the work.

In Rudy's critique, he likes Boy Zorro for its critically important message. His enthusiasm is tempered by ways the book could do a better job for its readers.

Whatever the assessment—love it, hate it, wish it was something else—it belongs to the critic and reflects that critic's sensibility. A work “means” what the reader says it means, regardless of the author’s or publisher’s intent. We do, of course, share a language, so most of the time, we "get" one another. But now and again a Boy Zorro comes around, where critique and intent rub each other the wrong way.

Favorable or not, taking into account a critic's observations--Rudy's expectation that illustrated children's books reflect a child's world by featuring diversity in gender and skin colors--won't diminish established intentions but certainly enhances the likelihood a future book will attract wider readership and more favorable critical responses.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Eduardo Galeano. Hands up, don't shoot.

[Daniel Olivas will return soon enough.]

La Bloga regularly covers many Latino, and other, authors, but not as many journalists as other genre writers. Below are excerpts of a sudamericano's  vivid, realistic writing style that makes Hunter Thompson's gonzo journalism seem like baño graffiti.

In a La Bloga post earlier this summer, poet Martín Espada mentioned Uruguayan author, Eduardo Galeano. The Atlantic Monthly said of Galeano:
"A native of Uruguay who was forced into exile under the country's military regime during the 1970s, Galeano has always identified with the losing side. His Open Veins of Latin America, published in Mexico, 1971, employed captivating, elegiac prose to chronicle five centuries of plunder and imperialism in Latin America. Radically different in style, Open Veins quickly became a canonical text in radical circles, selling hundreds of thousands of copies in the Southern Hemisphere. In a period of social upheaval, guerrilla warfare, and dictatorship, the book, composed in three months of intense labor, Open Veins was banned by the Pinochet regime."

Although Galeano recently "disavowed" some of his style, credentials and phraseology used in Open Veins, his legacy can't be derailed, even should he become more conservative in his later years.

Elsewhere, he's been described this way: "Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano is among the greats of our time. His writing has it -- that indefinable quality you can’t describe but know as soon as you read it. He’s created a style that combines the best of journalism, history, and fiction and a form for his books that may have no name but involves short bursts of almost lyrical reportage, often about events long past."

His most recent book, Mirrors (publisher, Nation Books), is called "one of the great books of this century, a history of humanity in 366 episodes, from our first myths to late last night."

The following passages--taken from excerpts from Galeano’s history of humanityMirrors - Stories of almost everyone, something you should consider reading if you want a different, great read.

Photograph: Saddest Eye in the World
Princeton, New Jersey, May 1947.
Photographer Philippe Halsman asks him: “Do you think there will be peace?”
And while the shutter clicks, Albert Einstein says, or rather mutters: “No.”
People believe that Einstein got the Nobel Prize for his theory of relativity, that he was the originator of the saying “Everything is relative,” and that he was the inventor of the atom bomb.
The truth is they did not give him a Nobel for his theory of relativity and he never uttered those words. Neither did he invent the bomb, although Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not have been possible if he had not discovered what he did.
He knew all too well that his findings, born of a celebration of life, had been used to annihilate it.

His enemies say he was an uncrowned king who confused unity with unanimity.
And in that his enemies are right.
His enemies say that if Napoleon had a newspaper like Granma, no Frenchman would have learned of the disaster at Waterloo.
And in that his enemies are right.
His enemies say that he exercised power by talking a lot and listening little, because he was more used to hearing echoes than voices.
And in that his enemies are right.
But some things his enemies do not say: it was not to pose for the history books that he bared his breast to the invaders’ bullets,
he faced hurricanes as an equal, hurricane to hurricane,
he survived 637 attempts on his life,
his contagious energy was decisive in making a country out of a colony,
and it was not by Lucifer’s curse or God’s miracle that the new country managed to outlive 10 U.S. presidents, their napkins spread in their laps, ready to eat it with knife and fork.
And his enemies never mention that Cuba is one rare country that does not compete for the World Doormat Cup.
And they do not say that the revolution, punished for the crime of dignity, is what it managed to be and not what it wished to become. Nor do they say that the wall separating desire from reality grew ever higher and wider thanks to the imperial blockade, which suffocated a Cuban-style democracy, militarized society, and gave the bureaucracy, always ready with a problem for every solution, the alibis it needed to justify and perpetuate itself.
And they do not say that in spite of all the sorrow, in spite of the external aggression and the internal high-handedness, this distressed and obstinate island has spawned the least unjust society in Latin America.
And his enemies do not say that this feat was the outcome of the sacrifice of its people, and also of the stubborn will and old-fashioned sense of honor of the knight who always fought on the side of the losers, like his famous colleague in the fields of Castile.

He was butterfly and bee. In the ring, he floated and stung.
In 1967, Muhammad Ali, born Cassius Clay, refused to put on a uniform.
“Got nothing against no Viet Cong,” he said. “Ain’t no Vietnamese ever called me nigger.”
They called him a traitor. They sentenced him to a five-year jail term, and barred him from boxing. They stripped him of his title as champion of the world.
The punishment became his trophy. By taking away his crown, they anointed him king.
Years later, a few college students asked him to recite something. And for them he improvised the shortest poem in world literature:
“Me, we.”

The Berlin Wall made the news every day. From morning till night we read, saw, heard: the Wall of Shame, the Wall of Infamy, the Iron Curtain...
In the end, a wall which deserved to fall fell. But other walls sprouted and continue sprouting across the world. Though they are much larger than the one in Berlin, we rarely hear of them.
Little is said about the wall the United States is building along the Mexican border, and less is said about the barbed-wire barriers surrounding the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the African coast.
Practically nothing is said about the West Bank Wall, which perpetuates the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and will be 15 times longer than the Berlin Wall. And nothing, nothing at all, is said about the Morocco Wall, which perpetuates the seizure of the Saharan homeland by the kingdom of Morocco, and is 60 times the length of the Berlin Wall.
Why are some walls so loud and others mute?

Lied-About Wars
Advertising campaigns, marketing schemes. The target is public opinion. Wars are sold the same way cars are, by lying.
In August 1964, President Lyndon Johnson accused the Vietnamese of attacking two U.S. warships in the Tonkin Gulf.
Then the president invaded Vietnam, sending planes and troops. He was acclaimed by journalists and by politicians, and his popularity skyrocketed. The Democrats in power and the Republicans out of power became a single party united against Communist aggression.
After the war had slaughtered Vietnamese in vast numbers, most of them women and children, Johnson’s secretary of defense, Robert McNamara, confessed that the Tonkin Gulf attack had never occurred.
The dead did not revive.
In March 2003, President George W. Bush accused Iraq of being on the verge of destroying the world with its weapons of mass destruction, “the most lethal weapons ever devised.”
Then the president invaded Iraq, sending planes and troops. He was acclaimed by journalists and by politicians, and his popularity skyrocketed. The Republicans in power and the Democrats out of power became a single party united against terrorist aggression.
After the war had slaughtered Iraqis in vast numbers, most of them women and children, Bush confessed that the weapons of mass destruction never existed. “The most lethal weapons ever devised” were his own speeches.
In the following elections, he won a second term.
In my childhood, my mother used to tell me that a lie has no feet. She was misinformed.

Lost and Found
The twentieth century, which was born proclaiming peace and justice, died bathed in blood. It passed on a world much more unjust than the one it inherited.
The twenty-first century, which also arrived heralding peace and justice, is following in its predecessor’s footsteps.
In my childhood, I was convinced that everything that went astray on earth ended up on the moon.
But the astronauts found no sign of dangerous dreams or broken promises or hopes betrayed.
If not on the moon, where might they be? Perhaps they were never misplaced. Perhaps they are in hiding here on earth. Waiting.

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Rubén Salazar
NOTE: The end of August will mark the 44th anniversary of the murder of the Mexican-American journalist Rubén Salazar during East L.A.'s National Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War, 1970. He was killed by an L.A. deputy, much as Michael Brown was by policeman Darren Wilson in Ferguson this month. The after-quake by enforcement officers has made Ferguson our Gaza, for the moment.

Hands up, don't shoot,

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chicana Films Need to be Included in Mexican American Studies Curricula. Award Winning Filmmaker Linda Garcia Merchant Tells Us Why!

By Guest Writer:  Filmmaker, Linda Garcia Merchant

Tony Diaz of Librotraficante and Nuestra Palabra, DAY ONE at Mercado Mayapan (photo by Kathryn Haviland)
I finally met Tony Diaz in person, in 2012, at a weekend conference that acknowledged the 40th anniversary of the Partido Raza Unida Convention at Mercado Mayapan in the Segundo Barrio area of El Paso, Texas.  One of the cornerstones of the modern Chicano Movement in El Paso, Mercado Mayapan, was originally a factory, that in 1981, was repurposed by a group of Chicana laborers, La Mujer Obrera, as a job training and social center.

I had "virtually" met Tony three years earlier when I was interviewed on his “Nuestra Palabra" show to promote several Texas screenings of my first film, Las Mujeres de la Caucus Chicana (2007).  Las Mujeres had been invited to screen at the Museo Alameda in San Antonio and was to be the debut of the Mexican American Community Center (MACC) in Austin as part of the 2008 Sor Juana Festival Tejas, sponsored by the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago. 

I continue to be a fan of the work Tony does with Librotraficante and, more recently, taking on the incredible challenge of creating a resource for Mexican American Studies (M.A.S.) in Tejas. 

"Reel Chicano Filmmakers" (L to R: Sean Arcy, Jesus Treviño, unknown,
Dennix Bixler, Linda Garcia Merchant (photo by Kathryn Haviland)
In June of 2014, Tony wrote an article for The Huffington Post, Latino Voices entitled, “Top 10 Chicano Films for M.A.S.” which included 15 of the top Chicano films to have as a resource for M.A.S.  I looked at the list and immediately tweeted a message to him that said, “Great!  Where are the women?  We make films too!"

Tony is a great guy and a true activist in the sense that the work is always about inclusion.   His immediate response was:  “What would a list of Chicana films look like?”

My first reaction was to create a list of films for M.A.S. by and about Chicanas.  But that wasn’t really solving the issue of inclusion.  If anything, it was keeping us as far apart as we have been in movement politics.  A list of films about Chicano culture should include films by men and women about Chicano men, women, and children.  As there are all types of films available that fit this requirement, I felt it should be one list, not two.  However, understanding that this list had already been published by The Huffington Post, there was a good chance there wouldn’t be a follow-up to correct or include what I felt was half a list. 

It was then that I realized the inclusion of the filmmakers as well as the films would be important to this list.  I realized it was personal.  I felt that the women left off the list, including myself, had made great contributions to our culture, and had done so with little fanfare or acknowledgement which continues to render many of us invisible to the history and contributions frequently recognized as “Chicano.” 

So instead of just giving Tony a list with run times and authors, I wrote a passionate statement about why the inclusion of Chicana Filmmakers was important to the M.A.S. resource.  Here is that statement:

I love being a Chicana Filmmaker because we are many things.  We are primarily activists moving cultural production forward.  We are provocateurs, inciting free thinking and daring conversation to come from the open-ended questions we shout in the stories we tell.  In Matilde Landeta’s Las Trotacalles, there is a death scene where the group of women standing around the bed of their dying friend are not dwelling on the sadness of the moment, but are having a heated conversation about the existence of God. Landeta manages to bring the emotional arc back from curious to poignant with the dying woman’s last words about faith that silences both the women and the audience. 

Martha Cotera, founding member of Mujeres de la Raza Unida, and Jesus Salvador Treviño, filmmaker,
on the opening panel of the 40th Anniversary Commemoration of the Partido Raza Unida
Convention held at University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP) (Photo by Kathryn Haviland)
We are risk takers, high wire aerialists tiptoeing over fields filled with the landmines of funding and exposure, cultural and gender insensitivities, resistance, and oppression, all while juggling actors, creative financing, production, distribution, and places to work, that will support us and our families. 

Chicana filmmakers are family, bound by the bond of Chicana-ism and filmmaking, and the many battles fought to get things done.  We teach one another craft and technique, understanding the importance of the auteur in the creation of product.  We do not engage regularly, but we connect when it is important to do so.  When we do engage, it is with the understanding that our bonds are as old as our history in this hemisphere, pre tribal and pre colonial.  I say this because it is how I feel about one of the Foremothers of Chicana Filmmaking, Sylvia Morales, producer of Chicana (1979) and A Crushing Love (2009). 

Filmmaker Sylvia Morales with María Cotera, Chicana feminist, activist, University of Michigan professor,
at the 2011 MALCS Summer Institute at California State University Los Angeles  (photo by Linda Garcia Merchant)
When I first met Sylvia Morales, I was just beginning production on my first film, Las Mujeres.  Sylvia was beginning work on A Crushing Love.  It was Chicano Filmmaker, Jesus Treviño, who said we should meet as we were working on similar projects. 

Sylvia is tall, striking, as only Latinas can be beautiful, and the owner of the most piercing set of eyes that can and do stand as judge and jury at any moment.  “So you want to be a filmmaker,” she grumbled, a tiny smirk on her lips and looking at me with that famous raised eyebrow.  “Well, be prepared to always be broke and never completely satisfied with what you’ve done.”  She then went on to tell wonderful stories of her experiences at the Denver Youth Conference and what it took to make Chicana (1979).  To this day, I relish every moment of that first meeting and carry forward the important lessons I have learned from Sylvia about why we do what we do. Sylvia continues to mentor my work with honest feedback and constructive suggestions. 

Jesus Salvador Treviño shooting The Women Legacy Panel (photo by Kathryn Haviland)
The highlight of my filmmaking career has been two opportunities  to work with Sylvia on projects.  First, in 2006, shooting Martha and María Cotera’s interview at my cameraman’s house in Evanston for A Crushing Love.  Then in 2011, shooting panels and interviews for the Chicana Por Mi Raza Oral HistoryProject at the MALCS (Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social) Summer Institute at CSU (California State University) Los Angeles, including a presentation of Madres Por Justicia by Teatro  Chicana.  Those four days in Los Angeles were the most exhausting and exciting of my life. 

I believe that Chicana/Latina filmmakers have a special Y chromosome imprinted with the words “not impossible.”  It is how I can rationalize our need to make films through the personal and economic challenge that comes from making film in a world consistently hesitant or disinterested in supporting us.  It is a challenge that presents itself as time away from children, spouses, and relationships in general.  Filmmaking insists on a complete state of distraction during pre- and post-production, that begins with the creative acts, with writing scripts, and continues through the editing of footage, and concludes with the endlessly expensive lottery of festival submission. 

Jesus Salvador Treviño shooting The Women Legacy Panel with Martha Cotera (photo by Kathryn Haviland)
However, this list isn’t just about the challenges that come with stories we tell.  It is about the simple fact that we are telling them.  Our “filmmaker” foremothers: Matilde Landeta, Sylvia Morales, Nancy De Los Santos, and LourdesPortillo, learned the structure of our craft and then redesigned that form in shapes that reflect a thousand years of tias, comadres y abuelas, teaching us how to tell a tale. 

Consider a young Latina in El Paso, Tejas; another in Kenosha, Wisconsin; and yet another in Las Vegas, Nevada watching A Crushing Love (Sylvia Morales, UCLA BA, MFA), Señorita Estraviada (Lourdes Portillo, San Francisco Art Institute MFA), or La negra Angustias (Matilde Landeta, Assistant Director during the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema).

While she watches these films, what seeds are planted in her mind, about the possibility of making film and becoming a filmmaker?  Does she go on to become the young woman that makes Las Marthas or Mosquita Y Mari?  I know she does.  I know we do. 

1.   Chicana. Director/Writer: Sylvia Morales (1979) (Classroom clock: 23 mins). History of Chicana and Mexican women from pre Columbian times to the present (Women Make Movies, distribution)

2.   A Crushing Love Chicanas, Motherhood and Activism. Director/Writer: Sylvia Morales (2009) (Classroom clock: 58 mins). Sequel to Chicana, Morales asks the question of Chicana activists and their children, how do they successfully juggle the needs of both the community and their families. Morales takes the question a step further by turning the camera on herself and her daughter.

3.  Senorita Extraviada, Missing Young Woman. Director/Producer: Lourdes Portillo (2001) (Classroom clock: 74 mins.) Story of the murdered women of Juarez Mexico is presented in a way that demonstrates the genocidal nature of the tragedy and the lack of action by the government.

4. Corpus:  A Home Movie for Selena.  Director/Producer: Lourdes Portillo (1999) (Classroom clock: 47 mins.) It has been said that this documentary presents Tejana singing star Selena Quintanilla 'from a Latina Feminist perspective'. Portillo chooses to include Latina scholars commenting on the lasting fame and iconic nature of her memory.

5.  La Negra Angustias. Director: Matilde Landeta Writers: Matilde Landeta and Francisco Rojas Gonzalez (1949) (Classroom clock: 85 mins.) At last a film about the Mexican Revolution with a woman leading the revolutionaries.  Starring María Elena Marques, who is better known for her role in Emilio Fernandez's film, La Perla.  

6.   La Trotacalles.  Director: Matilde Landeta (1951) (Classroom clock: 101 mins.) The second of three features Landeta was able to make within the male dominated structure of  the Mexican film industry. The film is about a group of streetwalkers, but without the moral judgements often applied to women in this profession.

7.    The Bronze Screen: 100 Years of the Latino Image in American Cinema. Producers/Directors: Nancy De Los Santos, Susan Racho, Alberto Dominguez (2002). (Classroom clock: 90 mins) A wonderful documentary that presents the rich and little known contributions on both sides of the camera by Latinos in Hollywood.

  8.  Pilsen: Port of EntryDirector: Kenneth Solarz Producer: Nancy De Los Santos (1981) (Classroom clock: 28mins.)  Documentary on the life of the Fraga family in the Pilsen neighborhood in  Chicago. Interesting in that it touches on the challenges of maintaining cultural pride with the ever present threat of gentrification.

9.     Antonia: A Chicana Story. Directors: Luz Maria Gordillo and Juan Javier Pescador (2013). (Classroom clock: 55 mins.) One of the foremothers of Chicana studies, Antonia Castaneda's life is presented through her writing along with interviews and conversations with colleagues and friends.

10.   My Filmmaking, My Life Matilde Landeta. Director: Patricia Diaz Producer: Jane Ryder (1990). (Classroom clock: 30 mins.). A documentary that presents the life and work of Mexican director Matilde Landeta.

11.  Mosquita Y Mari. Director/Writer: Aurora Guerrero (2012). (Classroom clock: 85 mins.) A coming of age story of young love that runs right into the fast paced life that is immigrant community. Written and Directed by Aurora Guerrero, this film is beautifully shot by Uruguayan cinematographer Magela Crosignani.

12.  Las Marthas. Director: Cristina Ibarra (2014). (Classroom clock: 66 mins.) A wonderful documentary on a little known annual debutante ball that honors the legacy of George and Martha Washington in the border town of Laredo Texas. Ibarra speaks to class and culture, inclusion, body image, and the public image of young women chosen to participate in this gala event.

13.  Adelante Mujeres. Director/Producer: National Women’s History Project (1992). (Classroom clock: 30 mins.) A quick and comprehensive study of the contributions of Latinas through history.

14.  Palabras Dulces, Palabras Amargas. Director: Linda Garcia Merchant (2009). (Classroom clock: 45 mins).  Featuring six original works of the multicultural, multigenerational spoken word ensemble La Dulce Palabra Spoken Word Ensemble.

15.  Las Mujeres de la Caucus Chicana. Director: Linda Garcia Merchant (2007) (Classroom clock: 93 mins) Recounts the turning points of six Chicanas who answered the call to action and came together at the 1977 National Women’s Conference in Houston.

Linda Garcia Merchant (photo by Kathryn Haviland)

Linda Garcia Merchant, an award-winning filmmaker and Independent scholar, is technical director of the Chicana Por MiRaza Project, a community partner for the Somos Latinas Oral History Project and the Chicana Chicago/MABPW Collection Project, a member of the LGBT Giving Council of the Chicago Foundation for Women and a board member of the Chicago Area Women's History Council. Watch the trailer for Linda's latest production 'Yo Soy Eva' , being released this fall.