“If Voltaire were still around to tell the story of globalization, two of his principal character types would be the enlightened, transnational citizen of the world and his imbecilic twin, the tourist.” - KEN JOHNSON, New York Times
Behold, Cannibal Tours directed by Dennis O’ Rourke. An uncomfortable watch about tourism in the Sepik River area in Papau New Guinea.
I saw this and several other films like Enjoy Poverty by Renzo Martens in a visual ethnography of film class at Ibero University I had the opportunity to attend this week as an oyente (auditor).
I also finished reading both The Circuit by Francisco Jiménez and Poetics by Aristotle, among several other research articles related to my project including this fantastic report by Centro De Los Derechos Del Migrante, PICKED APART: The Hidden Struggles Of Migrant Worker Women In The Maryland Crab Industry.
It has been a productive week but I am left with a lot of questions about the ethics of travel, documentary, work, and the promises of which are kept for some levels of society and broken for most others.
And then there is this.
A beautiful animated story about the importance of storytelling by @brainpickings
So here I am in the world’s second largest city.
It has been crazy these past two weeks but also -
Busy. Fun. Exciting. Weird. Tacos. Chiliquiles. Colors. Lucha Libre. Embarrassing. Wonderful. Warm.
And now it’s time to start my work under my Fulbright fellowship.
In order to keep my schedule straight and remain on this autodidact course to complement my project, I hope to write every Sunday about what I’m reading about and working on. It will be a mix of fiction, films, Mexico-based narrative and cultural reads, and migration politics and news.
To begin I read the book Graciela No One’s Child last week recommended by my good friend Sarah Wentworth (who by the way is doing an amazing comic here).
The book is a powerful story of one woman’s journey to find her real family. When she was a baby she was given up by her birth mother to a woman who subjected her to abuse and later forced her to work on the streets of Mexico City as a peanut vendor. During this time she also met Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Mistral who would give her weekly reading lessons. Somehow Grace manages to keep her dreams alive despite the challenges of her upbringing and eventually finds her real family (and writes this memoir!)
This week I have been exploring works by filmmaker, artist, actor, guru, (among a dozen other occupations), Alejandro Jodorwsky.
I watched Santa Sangre, which you can watch in full at the link below, a fucked up but wonderful avant-garde film about a boy who grows up in the circus and navigates the unfortunate circumstances of his youth. The film itself is a surreal nightmare, moments were unbearable to watch, however at the end you’re delivered a sense of closure that allows you to walk away and feel at peace with the film. Honestly I’m going to need a few days to fully digest it and write about this one.
http://vimeo.com/89601028 «« watch it here.
I have also begun diving into Poetics by Aristotle. This book essentially lays the foundation for all storytelling, so I thought it would be appropriate to start off my Fulbright project reading it.
until next week. x
A few photos from yesterday in San Angel.
Some production stills of my short film I directed a few weeks ago.
but feeling good.
Pictured here, Top floating head (me)
Middle, Production Assistant Laura
Bottom, DP: Weber Shih, Script Supervisor: Sara Soka, Camera Assistant: Jerome Stolly Sound: Siera Sinclair