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August 18, 2011

Day Three in Santa Fe

Another beautiful day here and another day full of films.  This time the focus was on eight shorts for the program called “KidFLIX!” Several selections from both the U.S. and Canada including, “The Visit” that recounts a Cree family’s strange encounter one night and based on a true story; “My Name is Kobe” where you meet the cat who calls the tribal office home and “Kiss En Concert” an animation that brings you the famous rock band and their fans like you’ve never seen them before—as Styrofoam cups!

In the afternoon, we had a program of three films called “International Indigenous Art on Film.” The first film was “Art + Soul: A Journey into the World of Aboriginal Art—Home and Away.”  This film from Australia was directed by Warwick Thornton (Kaytetye) and asked the question, “What does it mean to be ‘at home’ for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people? Is it where you live, or the ‘country’ you are exiled from?” and provides a rich encounter with Aboriginal history and culture.

Zapotec artist, Alejandro Santiago is the subject of the film, “2501 Migrants: A Journey” a documentary that explores questions of art, artist, and indigenous community in the context of global migration.  He is from Oaxaca and when he returned home it was a virtual ghost town. In response, he creates a monumental art installation comprised of 2,501 life-size ceramic sculptures that pays  homage to each person who left the village in search of a better life.

The last film was “Always Becoming” that follows the process of designing and constructing the outdoor sculpture by Nora Naranjo-Morse (Tewa of Santa Clara Pueblo) that is currently at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.  The film looks at how art communicates across generations and borders, becoming a common language between strangers.

After the screenings there was a panel with directors of the last two films, Yolanda Cruz (Chatino) who directed “2501 Migrants” and Nora Naranjo-Morse, director of “Always Becoming” and moderated by NMAI media initiatives programmer, Melissa Bisagni.  Cruz enjoyed the filming process and had over 100 hours to edit and one of the most important goals was to capture “what the statues wanted to say.”

A question from the audience directed to Naranjo-Morse was if she included anything from Santa Clara Pueblo in her sculpture in D.C. She used the micaceous clay and vega poles from Santa Clara village to be used along with locust poles and red clay from the D.C.-area and a blue color material that came from Minn. Her focus was to create a film that talked about culture, identity and home.

Click here to get the podcasts that Nora mentioned in her remarks.

We are in and around Santa Fe, please say hi to us!

                                                                                                        -          Leonda Levchuk (Navajo)




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