Artbound

S5 E3 | FULL EPISODE

Without Borders / Sin Fronteras

Artbound visits Kathy Kobayashi who discusses the Shades of L.A. photography archive at the Downtown L.A. Library, which explores community based photos illuminating diversity in Southern California. Then, Ana Serrano shows us her cardboard-constructed pieces based on her cultural explorations around Los Angeles. Next, we travel to Mexicali Rose, an artist organization in Mexicali.

AIRED: October 16, 2014 | 0:58:00
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

[CAPTIONS MADE POSSIBLE BY KCET

TELEVISION]

>> IN THIS EPISODE, SHADES OF

L.A..

>> I TOOK ABOUT THREE BOXES FULL

OF PICTURES, FAMILY PHOTOS,

PHOTOS OF HOUSES.

>> THE CARDBOARD CONSTRUCTED

PIECES INSPIRED BY LATINO

NEIGHBORHOODS.

>> PROVIDING ART AND MEDIA

EDUCATION PROGRAMMING.

>> THE SORT OF DEMOGRAPHIC WE

ALWAYS HEARD ABOUT WAS THE YOUNG

GENERATION OF KIDS THAT DIDN'T

HAVE OPTIONS.

>> TRANSFORMING INTO A POWERFUL

COMMUNITY THEATER.

>> NEXT ON "ARTBOUND."

>> I AM A JOURNALIST AND NATIVE

ANGELINO.

I'VE HAD A LONG CAREER COVERING

A RANGE OF IDENTITY POLITICS.

IT ACTUALLY STARTED WITH THE

MOMENT WHERE SOMEONE WAS

ACTUALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO

SOMETHING.

IT WAS A VERY SPECIFIC MOMENT.

THE LIBRARIAN WAS ASKED WHETHER

OR NOT SHE HAD PHOTOS OF WATTS,

HISTORIC WATTS.

SHE WENT TO THE PHOTO FILES AND

SHE PULLED OUT A PHOTO.

THERE IS ONE PHOTO, WHICH SHOWED

NOTHING ABOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD,

NO HOUSES, NO CHILDREN, NO FRONT

YARDS.

SHE HAD NO SENSE OF WHAT THE

COMMUNITY WAS.

SHE FIGURED THAT THERE HAD TO BE

PICTURES, AND SHE REALIZED THEY

WOULD PROBABLY BE IN PEOPLE'S

FAMILY ALBUMS.

THE BIRTHDAY PARTIES, THE FRONT

YARD, AND WEDDINGS.

SHE AND A GROUP OF PEOPLE GOT

TOGETHER, WILL VOLUNTEERS FROM

THE LIBRARY, AND THEY COOKED UP

A PLAN TO HAVE RESIDENTS BRING

IN THEIR PHOTO ALBUMS, BOXES

THAT WERE UNDER THE BED, AND

THEY WOULD SET UP THE SATELLITE

MEETING PLACES FOR GETTING THE

MEMBERS TO COME IN.

THERE'S A QUICK SKETCH VERSION

OF LOS ANGELES THAT LOOKS AS IF

IT'S THE MAIN STORY.

THE OFFICIAL HISTORY HAS NOT

ALWAYS BEEN WAITED IN THESE

COMMUNITIES FAVOR.

IT'S VERY IMPORTANT FOR PEOPLE

TO BE ABLE TO TELL THEIR OWN

STORIES ABOUT HER CULTURE, AND

THIS IS ONE OF THE FIRST TIMES

THAT THE PEOPLE WERE ABLE TO

HAVE A VOICE WITH THEIR IMAGES

AND WITH THE STORIES THAT

ACCOMPANY THOSE IMAGES.

IN THE END, THEY LOOKED AT

10,000 PHOTOGRAPHS, AND THEY ARE

NOW ALL ONLINE FOR ALL OF US TO

LOOK AT AND TO LEARN FROM AS WE

RESEARCHED THIS REALLY IMPORTANT

PART OF L.A. HISTORY.

>> I'M HERE BECAUSE I WORKED ON

THE SHADES OF L.A. PROJECT, THE

PROJECT OF THE L.A. PUBLIC

LIBRARY.

THE HEAD OF THE COLLECTION AT

THAT POINT FROM THE 1990'S.

THERE JUST WEREN'T THAT MANY

PHOTOGRAPHS OF ETHNIC LOS

ANGELES.

I THINK EVEN AT THAT POINT THERE

WERE MORE THAN 2 MILLION

PHOTOGRAPHS, BUT NO ONE HAD THE

ETHNIC PHOTOGRAPHS.

WHAT HAPPENED IN 1990 WAS THAT

SOMEONE CAME FROM THE SOUTHERN

CALIFORNIA LIBRARY IN SOUTH L.A.

LOOKING FOR FOR GRABS OF WATTS

AS A COMMUNITY, -- PHOTOGRAPHS

OF WATTS.

SHE OPENED THE FOLDER AND IT WAS

A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE PACIFIC

ELECTRIC RAILWAY STATION, AND

THAT WAS IT.

SHE SAID OK, THIS IS NOT RIGHT.

WE'VE GOT TO GET PHOTOGRAPHS OF

THE COMMUNITY.

SO SHE HAD THIS INSIGHT THAT IF

THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE NOT IN THE

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS ANYWHERE,

THEY MUST BE OUT THERE IN

PEOPLE'S HOMES AND PEOPLE'S

PRIVATE COLLECTIONS, IN THEIR

FAMILY ALBUMS, AND WE JUST NEED

TO GET OUT THERE AND HAVE THESE

PEOPLE BRING IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS,

AND WE WOULD COPY THEM.

SHE WAS RIGHT, BASICALLY.

THAT WAS REALLY THE BEGINNING OF

THE PROJECT.

>> I WAS REALLY IMPRESSED WITH

THE SHADES OF L.A. PROJECT WHEN

IT FIRST WAS LAUNCHED IN THE

1990'S.

THEY OFFERED ALTERNATIVES TO THE

STEREOTYPES OF THE ETHNIC

COMMUNITIES, ETHNIC PEOPLE HERE

IN LOS ANGELES BY PROVIDING REAL

STORIES.

>> THE PHOTOS WERE THESE

WONDERFUL EVENTS.

AT FIRST WE JUST SCANNED THEM

BECAUSE IT SEEM LIKE THE BEST

WAY TO COPY THE PHOTOGRAPHS.

IT BECAME A KIND OF GRASSROOTS

HISTORY PROJECT, AND HAVING

PEOPLE MEET FACE-TO-FACE WAS

REALLY WONDERFUL.

>> I WAS NOTIFIED THAT THE

DOWNTOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY WAS

DOING A PHOTO SEARCH, AND I TOOK

ABOUT THREE BOXES FULL OF

PICTURES.

I BROUGHT EVERYTHING FROM FAMILY

PHOTOS TO PHOTOS OF THE HOUSES,

TO PHOTOS OF THE PIT, YOU NAME

IT.

YOU NAME IT.

IT'S FULL OF LIFE.

THERE IS MY GREAT GRANDFATHER,

ALEXANDER.

I CAN REMEMBER ONE LADY WAS

HISPANIC AND SHE HAD HER

TEACHERS.

ONE WAS IN FRONT OF ME AND ONE

WAS IN BACK OF ME IN THE LINE,

AND WE WERE SHARING OUR

PICTURES.

IT WAS SO FUNNY BECAUSE I WOULD

SHOW THEM A PICTURE OF MY FAMILY

AND THEY WOULD HAVE A PICTURE

VERY SIMILAR OF THEIR FAMILY.

>> ANOTHER ONE OF MY FAVORITE

PHOTOGRAPHS.

I THINK THIS IS AN AMAZING

PHOTOGRAPH OF THE TRANSMISSION

IN IMMIGRANT FAMILIES.

SOME OF THE FAMILIES HAD

IMMIGRATED AND THE CHILDREN HAVE

SOME TRADITIONAL JAPANESE, BUT

THERE'S ALSO THE WESTERN

CLOTHING, THE TRICYCLES IN THE

HOUSE, THE CHRISTMAS TREE ITSELF

AS WELL.

IN FACT IF YOU LOOK AT THE

TITLES OF THE BOOKS, NOT ONLY

ARE THEIR CHILDREN'S JAPANESE

BOOKS BUT ALSO A MOTHER GOOSE

BOOK.

IT'S ALSO SO DELIBERATELY LAID

OUT.

IT'S JUST THIS KIND OF

PRESENTATION.

IT'S CLEARLY A KIND OF SPECIAL

PHOTOGRAPH OF THE FAMILY.

BUT IT'S SOMETHING WE CAN ALL

RELATE TO, IT'S A FAMILIAR SCENE

, BUT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO

THAT FAMILY IN 10 YEARS?

THAT ASSOCIATION WITH HOME, WITH

PLACE, AS WE UNDERSTAND THE

EXPERIENCE OF JAPANESE AMERICANS

AFTER 1942.

WE CAN LOOK AT THAT WONDERFUL

SCENE, WOULD TALK ABOUT THE

INTERNMENT OF JAPANESE AMERICANS

, THAT SCENE IS GOING TO BE

REMOVED.

THEY'RE GOING TO BE DENIED THAT

PLACE, THAT HOME.

THERE'S A PHOTOGRAPH, A 1944

PHOTOGRAPH OF A GOLF CLUB, A

GOLF GROUP AT THE INTERNMENT

CAMP IN ARIZONA.

WHEN I LOOK AT THAT PHOTOGRAPH,

FIRST OF ALL, I DON'T SEE ANY

GRASS.

THERE ISN'T A GOLF COURSE, JUST

CACTUS AND DRY GROUND IN THE

BACKGROUND.

BUT WHAT I SEE IN THE FACES OF

THE PEOPLE, THOSE WHO WERE

INTERRED, AND THOSE AT OTHER

CAMPS AS WELL, I SEE THIS

AMAZING RESILIENCE TO MAINTAIN A

NORMAL LIFE, WHETHER IT'S GOLF

OR A BEAUTY PAGEANT OR A

BASEBALL TEAM OR A TEENAGE DANCE

GOING ON IN THOSE INTERNMENT

CAMPS.

SO WE CAN USE THESE PHOTOGRAPHS

TO UNDERSTAND THE EXPERIENCES OF

JAPANESE-AMERICANS IN WORLD WAR

II OR SLIGHTLY BEFORE AND TO

UNDERSTAND WHAT THEIR EXPERIENCE

WAS.

WHAT WAS THEIR HOME LIFE LIKE,

AND WHAT DID THEY LOSE?

>> THIS IS ONE OF THOSE GREAT

PHOTOGRAPHS, 1924, YOUNG COUPLE

IN LOVE, SHORTLY BEFORE THEY GOT

MARRIED.

I THINK IT'S ONE OF THOSE

PHOTOGRAPHS WHEN YOU LOOK AND

THINK OH, THAT COULD HAVE BEEN

ME, OR MORE LIKELY, I WISH THAT

COULD HAVE BEEN ME.

THEY LOOK SO HAPPY IN LOVE, THEN

YOU REALIZE THE BACK STORY OF

THE PHOTOGRAPH IS THAT THEY ARE

AT THE SEGREGATED BEACH.

THINGS WERE STILL QUITE

SEGREGATED IN LOS ANGELES.

A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE

THAT THE BEACHES WERE SEGREGATED

HERE, BUT THAT WAS DEFINITELY

PART OF L.A. HISTORY AS WELL.

NEXT LIKEWISE, THERE'S ANOTHER

PHOTOGRAPH OF A GROUP OF

AFRICAN-AMERICANS, A FAMILY, AND

THEIR STANDING ON A ROCK WITH A

LARGE SIGN, CLEARLY DEMARCATED

SIGN OF THE SEGREGATED BEACH IN

LOS ANGELES.

IT'S QUITE A SERIOUS SIGN

BECAUSE IT'S SENDING A MESSAGE

THAT AFRICAN-AMERICANS KNEW THAT

THEY WERE IN A SEGREGATED AREA

AND THE ACCESS TO THE BEACH WAS

VERY MUCH CONTROLLED.

THESE PHOTOGRAPHS CAN BE VERY

GOOD TEACHING TOOLS FOR US TO

UNDERSTAND THAT THERE WAS

INJUSTICE, AND MANY OF THESE

WRONGS WERE RIGHTED AT SOME

POINT IN HISTORY.

IT ALSO TELLS YOU THE HUMAN

STORIES, THAT PEOPLE ARE PRETTY

MUCH THE SAME IN TYPICAL

SITUATIONS, THEY DO THEIR BEST

TO MAINTAIN A NORMAL LIFE.

>> I THINK WHAT I FIND UNIQUE

ABOUT THE SHADES OF L.A. PROJECT

IS THAT IT DOES CAPTURE THE KIND

OF DIVERSE CITY OF LOS ANGELES

FAMILIES AND LOS ANGELES

COMMUNITIES AND NEIGHBORHOODS.

THINGS ARE JUST WEREN'T SEEN IN

PUBLIC RECORDS BEFORE.

I REALLY WANT THEM TO GO AND DO

IT THEMSELVES.

EVEN WHEN THEY LOOK AT THEIR OWN

FAMILY ALBUMS, TO SEE THEM IN A

DIFFERENT LIGHT, SORT OF SEE

THEM AS NOT JUST PERSONAL, WHICH

IS OBVIOUSLY IMPORTANT, BUT AS

HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS.

WHAT DO THEY MEAN, NOT JUST TO

MY FAMILY BUT TO THE LARGER

HISTORY?

>> I'M THE SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER.

MANY OF HER PAPER MADE

SCULPTURES ARE IN SPIRE BY THE

NEIGHBORHOODS AND HOMES THAT SHE

SEES ON AN EVERYDAY BASIS

WALKING AROUND HER NEIGHBORHOOD

OF HIGHLAND PARK.

SHE PAYS ATTENTION TO SMALL

DETAILS THAT COULD BE OVERLOOKED

.

SHE GREW UP WATCHING

SPANISH-LANGUAGE TELEVISION.

THERE IS A SERIES WHERE SHE PAID

HOMAGE TO A POPULAR CHARACTER IN

A SERIES.

THESE ARE CHARACTERS THAT ARE

VERY FAMILIAR TO PEOPLE WHERE

SHE GREW UP WATCHING THEM.

THEY ARE VERY COLORFUL AND

VIBRANT.

SHE WAS COMMISSIONED BY RIGHT

UNIVERSITY TO FILL THE GALLERY.

>> I WAS BORN IN LOS ANGELES.

A LOT OF INSPIRATION COMES FROM

JUST RIDING AROUND AND JUST

BEING AWARE OF THE WAY THAT

HOMEOWNERS ARE SMALL BUSINESS

OWNERS CAN ALTER THEIR HOME OR

THEIR BUSINESSES.

AT SOME POINT IT BECOMES ABOUT

IT ALL COMING TOGETHER IN

CREATING AN UNTRADITIONAL BUT

BEAUTIFUL ENVIRONMENT.

FOR WHAT I DO, CARDBOARD SCENES

CAN BE THE BEST FIT.

I LIKE ELEVATING IT TO A POINT

WHERE IT DOES BECOME OUR.

-- DOES BECOME ART.

WORKING WITH OTHER PEOPLE HAS

DEFINITELY BEEN A LOT EASIER

THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE.

AT SOME POINT YOU NEED HELP TO

CREATE THINGS TO SCALE.

IT'S BEEN REALLY GREAT TO BE

ABLE TO TRUST SOMEBODY AND JUST

LET GO A LITTLE BIT.

I NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT IT GETS

TRANSLATED THE SAME WAY WHETHER

I'M WORKING SMALL OR WORKING ON

A LARGER SCALE.

MORE MATERIAL, TAKING A LOT MORE

TIME AND A LOT MORE PAINS.

I SAW A LOT OF BEAUTY ON THE

WALLS OF THE ACTUAL BEAUTY

SALONS.

I'M JUST TRYING TO TRANSLATED

LITERALLY FROM THE SPANISH TO

THE ENGLISH.

IT BECOMES SALON OF BEAUTY.

I DON'T THINK I EVER HAVE TO LET

ANYBODY KNOW THAT THE

NEIGHBORHOODS I'M REPRESENTING

OR ON THE LOWER SOCIOECONOMIC.

I DO TEND TO PRESENT MORE

POLITICAL OR SOCIAL ISSUES

LIGHTHEARTEDLY.

WITH HUMOR OR SOME SORT OF

LIGHTNESS TO IT.

I THINK IT GETS THE POINT ACROSS

AND NOT HAVING TO BE

HEAVY-HANDED OR POLITICAL ABOUT

IT.

THE DETAILS AREN'T ALWAYS

PRESENT RIGHT NEXT TO EACH OTHER

IN THE WORLD.

BUT YOU PULL THEM OUT OF THERE

AND PUT THEM IN A STUDY THAT YOU

ARE HIGHLY FOCUSED ON, YOU'RE

ABLE TO SEE THAT, THEN WHEN YOU

TAKE THINGS BACK OUT OF THAT

GALLERY YOU'RE ABLE TO

APPRECIATE THEM AND IT MAKES YOU

MORE AWARE.

>> I'M THE FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR

OF THE ART CENTER.

IT'S A GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATION.

WE BASICALLY COVER FIVE

FUNCTIONS.

WE HAVE A COMMUNITY GALLERY, WE

TRY TO SCREEN WORKS OF LOCAL

FILMMAKERS AND WE HAVE A RADIO

STATION.

WE ALSO HAVE A COMMUNITY LIBRARY

WHICH FEATURES THE WORK OF LOCAL

PUBLISHERS.

THE IDEA WAS BASED OUT OF L.A.

WE SAW DIFFERENT COMMUNITY ART

AS AGENCY OR -- EVERY TIME I

WOULD GO BACK HOME I JUST FELT

LIKE THE TIME WAS RIGHT TO DO

SOMETHING, IT WAS A PLACE WHERE

I SAW A LOT OF TALENT AND A LOT

OF OPPORTUNITIES IN CULTURE AND

ART.

SOMETHING GRASSROOTS WAS IN

ORDER AND IT WAS TIME TO GET

THAT UP AND GOING.

THAT'S WHAT INSPIRED ME TO COME

BACK AND START THIS COMMUNITY

SPACE.

IT STARTED EVOLVING INTO A

GALLERY AND THE DIFFERENT

FUNCTIONS THAT WE COVER NOW.

THIS WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD HAS

ALWAYS BEEN DIVERSE TO ME.

SINCE I WAS A KID, THIS IS WHERE

ALL THE CANTEEN IS USED TO BE.

THERE WAS MUSIC, MARIACHIS, A

LOT OF PEOPLE JUST ASSOCIATED IT

BECAUSE IT'S SO CLOSE TO THE

BORDER AS A TOUGH NEIGHBORHOOD.

THOSE THINGS DO EXIST, BUT YOU

HAVE TO TRY TO FIND POSITIVE

ASPECTS OF IT, ESPECIALLY IF

THAT'S THE ONE YOU'RE LIVING IN.

ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS BEHIND

MEXICALI ROSE, THE CULTURAL

OPTIONS I FEEL ARE RESERVED FOR

PEOPLE WITH MONEY, AND WE ALWAYS

WANTED TO HAVE A SPACE WHERE WE

COULD NOT ONLY SHOW ART BUT ALSO

TEACH KIDS FROM AROUND THE AREA

OR DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE CITY

WHAT WE ARE INTO, TRY TO TEACH

SOME OF THAT TO THEM.

THEY ARE THE GENERATIONS THAT

ARE GOING TO STAY IN THIS

NEIGHBORHOOD AND TRY TO MAKE IT

A POSITIVE LACE, INSTEAD OF THE

WAY IT SEEMS TO BE HEADED.

A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE MOVING IN

HERE IN SPACES -- USING SPACES

LIKE THIS FOR TRUCK TRAFFICKING

ARE PEOPLE SMUGGLING, WHICH IS

WHAT HAT -- USED TO HAPPEN IN

THE SPACE BEFORE.

[BEATING SPANISH -- SPEAKING

SPANISH]

>> MY NAME IS ALICIA.

I WAS RAISED HERE BUT WE MOVED

TO L CENTRO.

WE'VE BEEN HERE OVER 20 YEARS.

IT'S AN INTERESTING CITY, THERE

IS A LOT AROUND, THERE'S A LOT

TO DO, BUT THERE'S NOT A LOT TO

DO.

IF YOU LIKE TO BE ON YOUR OWN,

SCOUT AROUND, KIND OF LIVE A

LONELY LIFE, IT'S A GOOD PLACE

TO BE.

BUT AS FAR AS LIKE ENTERTAINMENT

AND OPPORTUNITIES GO, IT'S NOT A

PLACE TO GOOD -- TO GROW UP.

NOT BEING ABLE TO GET INVOLVED

IN ART WAS REALLY HARD, MAINLY

BECAUSE I DIDN'T REALLY KNOW

WHAT MY SPOT WAS AN ART.

I GOT AN A.A. IN ART, BUT I

CAN'T DRAW A STRAIGHT LINE.

I TRIED DRAWING.

NOBODY EVER DID VIDEO, SO I

DIDN'T KNOW I COULD USE A CAMERA

AND SAY WHAT I WANTED TO SAY

WITH THE CAMERA UNTIL I CAME TO

MEXICALI ROSE.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

>> THE SORT OF DEMOGRAPHIC WE

ALWAYS CARED ABOUT WAS THE YOUNG

GENERATION OF KIDS THAT DIDN'T

HAVE MANY ARTISTIC OPTIONS HERE.

WE WANT TO BE VERY POSITIVE FOR

THEM AND WE FOUND OUT VERY

QUICKLY, AND IT JUST GREW AND

GREW A READ WE TRIED TO DO MORE

WORKSHOPS AND MORE WORKSHOPS.

A LOT OF ARTIST STARTED SPOT --

FLOCKING TO THE SPACE.

THEY ASKED IF THEY COULD HAVE

AND ART SHOW BECAUSE GALLERIES

IN TOWN WERE NEVER GOING TO GIVE

THEM A SHOW.

I REMEMBER WHEN I WAS GROWING

UP, IT WAS HARD FOR ME IN THE

1980'S TO THINK I COULD MAKE A

LIVING DOING COMICS, BECAUSE THE

CULTURE DIDN'T EXIST.

YOU GRADUATE, GO TO SCHOOL,

BECOME A DENTIST OR A LONGER OR

WHATEVER.

ANYTHING THAT HAD TO DO WITH ART

BASICALLY, YOU DON'T DO THAT.

SO I THINK NOW THERE IS A

CULTURE IN ART THAT HAS GROWN IN

A WAY THAT THERE ARE

POSSIBILITIES TO MAKE A LIVING

FROM ART.

OPENING A WINDOW FOR PEOPLE TO

SEE SOMETHING THEY HAVEN'T SEEN

OR DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO, TO SAY

I'M HERE, I EXIST.

>> BORDER ARTIST AT THE TIME

WERE TRYING TO FIND THEIR

IDENTITY, IN THE MASHUP OF

DIFFERENT INFLUENCES AND

CULTURES WAS ALREADY THERE, THEY

JUST NEEDED A PLACE TO SHOW IT.

THAT'S WHAT WE WERE REALLY

EXCITED ABOUT.

[SPEAKING SPANISH]

>> LIVING ON THE AMERICAN SIDE

OF THE BORDER IS DEFINITELY

DIFFERENT.

YOU KNOW THAT SAYING, THE LAND

OF THE FREE?

I FEEL THAT AS SOON AS I CROSSED

THE BORDER INTO THE MEXICAN

SIDE.

I KNOW IT MAY SOUND A LITTLE

WEIRD, BUT THERE'S A LOT MORE

LIBERTY TO DO THINGS AROUND

HERE.

JUST WITH THE ART SCENE, LIKE

CARRYING A CAMERA AROUND, NOT A

LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GOING TO

QUESTION THAT.

ON THE AMERICAN SIDE, IT'S ALL

PROTOCOL.

YOU HAVE TO SIGN UP SOMEWHERE

AND SAY THAT YOU'RE GOING TO

HAVE A CAMERA AND YOU'RE GOING

TO BE DOING THIS AND ALL THAT

STUFF.

IT'S JUST MAYBE LITTLE THINGS

LIKE THAT THAT DO MAKE A BIG

DIFFERENCE.

WHEN YOU COME ACROSS YOU HAVE TO

WALK THROUGH TURNSTILES.

IT'S ALSO NOT LIKE MOST

AMERICANS RETURNING TO THEIR

SIDE, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH

BEING FREE ARE ANYTHING, IT'S A

PERSONAL THING.

I CAN GO INTO A PLACE AND IT'S

GOING TO BE OK, RATHER THAN OVER

THERE, EVEN IN MY HOMETOWN IN EL

CENTRO, I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE THAT,

I FEEL LIKE A STRANGER, LIKE I

DON'T BELONG.

>> CURRENTLY WITH THE WORKSHOPS

WERE DOING, OR TRYING TO EXPAND

AND TAKE THEM ELSEWHERE.

WERE TRYING TO DO WORKSHOPS IN

THE COMMUNITIES, THEY HAVE A

HIGH SCHOOL THERE.

WE DID SOME DOCUMENTARY FILMS

THERE LAST YEAR AND HAD A PRETTY

GOOD RESPONSE.

THIS IS AN AREA OF THE CITY, THE

COMMUNITY THAT I ASSOCIATE A LOT

WITH -- WERE ALSO CLOSE TO THE

BORDER, A LOT OF DIFFERENT

PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT PARTS OF

THE COUNTRY.

THIS NEIGHBORHOOD IS

CRIME-RIDDEN, ABANDONED BY THE

GOVERNMENT.

YOU CAN FIND THE YOUTH THERE ARE

GOING TO HAVE A LOT OF THINGS TO

SAY.

THAT'S DEFINITELY A COMMUNITY WE

WANTED TO REACH OUT TO.

ONE OF OUR CONSTANT

COLLABORATORS, THEY HAVE DONE

WORKSHOPS HERE.

WE'RE GOING TO BE WORKING WITH A

GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT ARE ALSO

COMMUNITY ORGANIZERS.

WE HAVE ROTATING PLACES FOR

PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUNG OUT ON

DRUGS.

THEY ARE INVOLVED WITH A

MARIACHI, THAT'S WHERE YOU GO

AND HIRE MUSICIANS THERE.

THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE THERE

THAT GET DEPORTED AND IT'S A

PLACE TO HANG OUT AND SLEEP FOR

A WHILE OR FIND SHELTER.

THE COPS ARE REALLY HOSTILE TO

THE THEM.

WE WANT TO TRY TO DO SOMETHING

THAT REFLECTS THAT PART OF TOWN,

THE MARIACHI AREA, AND MAKE IT A

LITTLE MORE BEAUTIFUL FOR THESE

PEOPLE THAT ARE THERE.

JUST TRYING TO MAKE THE PUBLIC'S

ACE A LITTLE MORE BEAUTIFUL IN

THE CITY.

>> MANY HAVE -- MANY PEOPLE HAVE

TO CROSS OVER TO THE U.S. TO

HAVE OPPORTUNITIES.

WHETHER IT'S COOL AND ART, WORK,

WHATEVER IT IS.

FOR ME, MY OPPORTUNITIES I FOUND

HERE.

>> WHAT I REALLY LOVE THE MOST

ABOUT MEXICALI ROSE, EVERYBODY

THAT COMES HERE FEELS A

CONNECTION WITH THE HOUSE, WITH

THE ART BEING SHOWN.

THEY HAD NO CLUE THAT IT'S A

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION.

YOU CAN'T HELP BUT FEEL THAT

WHEN YOU COME INTO THE SPACE.

NO MATTER WHAT, YOU'RE GOING TO

FEEL PRIDE IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD.

I HAVE A LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP

WITH THE NEIGHBORHOOD, REALLY.

I GET SICK OF THEM TRYING TO

BREAK IN, METH HEADS AND JOCKEYS

THAT ARE LYING AROUND, BUT YOU

HAVE TO FIND THE POSITIVE

ASPECTS OF IT.

YOU CAN JUST JUMP SHIP, YOU HAVE

TO TRY TO BUILD SOMETHING

POSITIVE.

THIS IS THE PERFECT VEHICLE FOR

THAT.

[APPLAUSE]

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