in the span of 10 minutes two mexicans just won an oscar, you have no idea how great that is.
Lupita counts so three!
¡Viva la mujer Chicana!
Cesar Chavez, Salinas Valley, 1970
For once, a casting announcement for an iconic film has been met with little objection. Late Wednesday afternoon, Hollywood trade publications reported that Adam Driver would likely play a key role as the villain in the new Star Wars trilogy. If Driver ends up with the part, this is good news for all. Driver is a terrific actor, and it bodes well for the upcoming trilogy that the producers have chosen someone whose strength lies in his abilities, not in conventional good looks.
Obviously, it is also a big deal for Driver himself, as it marks a huge leap forward in his career. Two years ago, nobody knew his name, but after breaking out in Girls and securing small but memorable roles in prestigious fare like Lincoln and Inside Llewyn Davis, he is now on a more secure path to movie stardom.
But one question remains: Why is it that the first actor from Girls to break through to success in the movies is a man?
Read more. [Image: Evan Agostini/AP]
It’s a trap! First this article pretends to be about Star Wars to get us to read about the television show Girls; then it carelessly spews a bunch of thermal exhaust about Latinos in the entertainment industry while trying to say something, anything, about gender. Let’s take it apart.
Another place where television trumps film in reflecting modern America is its use of Latino characters.
So true. Latinos characters are extremely useful once you get the hang of them. White actors are quite adept at playing them nowadays. You know, because practice makes perfect. It would be a shame if someone diluted that perfection.
A portion of anti-immigration advocates fear the dilution of American culture due to the influence of Mexican immigrants, but on television, no one seems to mind.
In real life racists have a deep seated fear of brown people and miss the old-timey white America they made up in their heads. On TV they get to see that fantasy. Magical! If you feel a little awkward about that, just remember it’s all the fault of of Mexican immigrants acting all suave and influential. Never mind about those
blatant bland racists anti-immigration advocates. Hey look, boobs!
On the networks, Modern Family features a prominent Latina (Sofia Vergara), while Eva Longoria, of Mexican descent, anchored Desperate Housewives for years.
T and A. Diversity.
Flip on over to cable and check out The Bridge for a more serious, nuanced Latino character.
2012 Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir? Forget that guy, what about George Lopez?
George Lopez has been around seemingly forever and has a new show on FX premiering next month.
Forever has never felt so long. What were we talking about?
But where are the Latino movie stars? Sure, we’ve got Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, and Antonio Banderas, but they are all of Spanish descent, not Mexican, which makes a difference when we’re discussing immigration issues.
And when are we not discussing immigration? We can’t stop talking about it. Just look what happened to Spain. It used to be European, now everyone there is of Spanish descent. If only Spain had gone Mexican, that would have solved this problem. Maybe we can get one of those Puerto Rican or Colombian Mexicans to star in a film someday.
If you are looking for a Mexican-American movie star, the best you can do are Salma Hayek, Diego Luna, or Danny Trejo, none of who have the star power to helm a big-budget studio movie.
Do you work here? It just seems like someone writing about the entertainment industry should know their way around Variety slanguage. Ehem. Salma Hayek was the top liner (star) of Frida. Danny Trejo was the top liner (star) of both Machete, and Machete Kills. Diego Luna helmed (directed) the upcoming Cesar Chavez. But never mind that, you were looking for Mexican-Americans and you found one naturalized American citizen, one Mexican citizen, and a bonus bad-ass Chicano. You could work for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office.
Many talented Latino film actors out there, like the versatile and charismatic Michael Pena, have inexplicably never broken through to the mainstream (although next month’s Cesar Chavez will hopefully change that in Pena’s case).
Inexplicable—the first word that come to mind when I think of Michael Pena’s career—when it comes to mind. Wait, isn’t Rosario Dawson playing Dolores Huerta in that movie?
On issues of gender equality, both film and television are making progress.
Who cares (apparently). Let’s just watch this trailer for Cesar Chavez!
Dimmet, Texas, 1949.
White’s only what?
Phrases in 8 of Mexico’s Mother Languages in Honor of International Mother Language Day
In 1999, UNECO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) proclaimed February 21 International Mother Language Day as a means to “promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world.”
International Mother Language Day (IMLD) was established by UNESCO in commemoration of students who were killed in Dhaka (current day Bangladesh) in 1952 protesting for recognition of Bengali as one of two official languages of then Pakistan. 2014 marks 15 years that IMLD has promoted the richness and diversity of mother languages.
• 11 language families
• 68 languages
• and 364 dialects
In celebration of IMLD, here are phrases in Nahuatl, Zapotec, Maya, Totonac, Tarahumara, Otomi, Mazahua and Mixtec, 8 of Mexico’s mother languages, via our friends at Animal Político.
1. Nahuatl: It comes from the Uto-Aztecan family and is the most widely spoken of all Indian languages. Spoken in Mexico City, Durango, State of Mexico, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Tlaxcala and Veracruz, among others.
Good morning: Cualli tonaltin, or when you meet someone, you can say panoli.
2. Zapoteco: Oto-mangue language family. It’s spoken in Oaxaca and Veracruz.
3. Maya: Maya language family. It is the second most spoken language in Mexico. It is spoken in the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize and Guatemala.
Good morning: ma’alo’ob k’iin
Thanks: Niib óolal, Yuum bo’otik
Goodbye: ka’a xi’itech
4. Totonaco: Totonaco-tepehua language family. It’s spoken in the Papantla region of Veracruz.
Good morning, afternoon, evening: Kgalhén
5. Mixteco: In 2000, Mixteco language speakers were the fourth largest community of Indigenous language speakers in Mexico with a total of 446,236 speakers over the age of 5.
Good morning: ku va’a
Thanks: tixa’vi, taxa’vixiñ
Goodbye: ndene’e, nandi
6. Tarahumara: Rarámuri, as it’s known by many, is especially complex. It has five vowel tones and distinctive vowel lengths: / i, e, a, o, u /, which also distinguishes between long and short vowels. Its accent is also phonemic.
Good morning: kuira ba
Thanks: matétera ba
7. Mazahua: Its speakers refer to their language as “Jñatio,” which is also their name for themselves.
Good morning: jiasmaji
Goodbye: maxa (the person replying); maxko (the person bidding farewell)
8. Otomi: As a group, the Otomi is the fifth largest Indigenous nation of Mexico. Of these, only a little more than half speak their mother language.
Good morning: hats’i, haxajuä
Thanks to the folks at INALI, UNESCO, and those at Animal Político for compiling this list.
Do you speak Mexican???
Ahuacamolli (Guacamole) Recipe Video in Nahuatl
A young maned Marco who follows us on Instagram told us about his ahuacamolli (guacamole) recipe video in Nahuatl earlier today. Wow! Huel cualli (excellent)!
Marco not only speaks Nahuatl, he also speaks Spanish, French and Portuguese. But this video is especially relevant to us today considering it’s in Nahuatl and today is International Mother Language Day.
This video comes with captions in Spanish and English (in CC), so everyone who follows this blog can enjoy it — and hopefully learn a little Nahuatl, too!. Make sure you show support and subscribe to his channel.
Top left: Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Rachel Rogers, Pocha Nostra Royalty, as part of The Museum of Fetishized Identities, Tate Modern, London, 2003; public performance. Courtesy Live Art Development Agency
Top right: Pocha Nostra Family Reunion, San Francisco, 2003. Photo: Jarda
Bottom: Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Saul Garcia Lopez in the moments before the international premiere of the La Pocha Nostra Live Art Laboratory’s Corpo Insurrecto: The Robo-Proletariat at Steirischer Herbst Festival, Austria, 2012. Photo: Wolfgang Silveri
A group of high school students in Kansas came together with artist Armando Minjarez, the founder of an art and education non-profit, to identify issues that are important in their lives for a pilot program to create community-engaged art. Student after student wanted to make a piece on immigration.
“Some of them are immigrants, some are undocumented or have parents that are undocumented,” Minjarez, 27, and the founder of The Seed House La Casa de Semilla said. “One of the students designed the mural. I’m an artist by profession, so I guided them through the process. It was a really high quality mural for a group of 15- to 16-year-olds.”
“Immigration is beautiful,” the mural read.
But on Thursday morning a friend told Minjarez the mural had been defaced with racist graffiti and he quickly went to go see it. Scrawled in red, the word “welfare” was written in capital letters, along with “KKK” and “wetback,” a slur against immigrants (specifically Mexicans).
Minjarez then began sharing images of the defaced mural with organizations, like Latino Rebels.
The growth of the Latin@ community in Wichita has been recent. Wichita schools have seen the percentage of Latin@ students double over the last decade, from 15% to 31%.
Besides the “immigration is beautiful” tagline, the mural featured a man and a woman with American and Mexican flags wrapped around them looking past a border fence towards the promise of the Statue of Liberty. Along the American flag are what look like DREAMers, undocumented youth brought to the country as children.
Minjarez says he and the students had spoken about how there could be pushback to this public display of their realities and he said the students are not discouraged.
“They’re not discouraged, but they’re certainly pissed off,” he said.
But Student Sarai Melendez, one of the students who painted the mural, said she was hurt, in a statement.
“All we wanted to do is bring a good message to this community; I feel upset and hurt, this was my biggest accomplishment,” she said. “We will make more and continue to express ourselves…this doesn’t stop us!”
Minjarez said the timing of the defacement of the mural coincides with the first meeting of Army of Artists, the complete group of artists who will decide and commit to the next pieces of public artwork. He said his internal goal is at least 8 more projects. “Whatever public art they want to create; a concert, a rap battle, an installation.”
He said this ugly episode will only invigorate the artists.
“We’re bringing to light the reality we live with everyday, we can choose to act like racism isn’t out there but it is.”
55 years ago today, February 3, 1959, Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper died in a plane crash in Iowa. Valens was 17 years old.
Valens was born in Pacoima, California, and is considered the forefather of Chicano Rock. His biggest hit: 🎶 “La Bamba,” an ode to his Mexican heritage.
#ritchievalens #pacoima #thedaythemusicdied #chicano #rocknroll #thinkmexican
Montoya Family Memorial for Sacramento Artist and Poet Maestro José Montoya
Date: Thursday, January 23, 2014
Time: 6:00-9:00 PM
Doors open at 6:00PM
Location: Crest Theater, 1013 K Street Sacramento, CA 95814
On Thursday, January 23, 2014, the children of José Montoya, Sacramento educator, artist, poet, and activist who died after a courageous battle with cancer, at the age of 81 on September 25, 2013, will host an evening of tribute through dance, song and poetry at Sacramento’s Crest Theater.
This free, public event planned in Sacramento is the only Montoya-family produced tribute event that will honor the memory of Montoya and his contributions in all of the many worlds in which he served including his early years in New Mexico, California’s Central Valley, the US Navy, his college life, teaching, the arts, and his activism. Doors open at 6:00 PM and seats are first-come, first-served.
Read more at Palabra: The National Compadre Network
Los Braceros: Strong Arms to Aid the U.S.A.
During World War II, millions of Mexicans were recruited to work in the United States as part of an Allied war effort called the Bracero Program.
4 million Mexican men worked in agricultural throughout the United States as part of this program. A great number of Mexican Americans trace their family’s arrival to the U.S. to a Bracero.
This short documentary from KVIE tells the story of those young men who lived through the Bracero Program’s many days of hardships and adventures, and who planted seeds of future generations.
For more information on the Bracero Program, visit The Bracero Archive
See Smithsonian Online Exhibit: Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964
Updated Link: Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program 1942-1964
I am aware of the lack of representation of Native Americans in TV and movies, and when Arnaud Desplechin brought the idea of this movie to me, my instinctive reaction was: Why me? Because I really do believe that Native Americans could have played the part better, different… It could have been done.
But there is a money issue in doing movies, and the fact that I have a career created the chance of the movie being made. That is a fact of life at this moment in time. So, when I read the story, I just felt it was a really strong story that should be out there. And, with all due respect, I dared to do it. There have been actors playing outside their groups; it is a tradition in acting. In the history of theater, even women were played by men.
i consider myself a fan of benicio’s acting, but just because something’s a “tradition” doesn’t mean it needs to be preserved. and the whole “i’m more famous than any native actor, which is why i kind of HAD to play this part” is really tired and counterproductive. this could’ve been a great opportunity for a native american actor to gain notoriety! benicio sympathizes with our lack of representation, but as long as “money issues” and actors like him are prioritized over native actors for these roles, the situation’s never going to change.
Anyone else think it was already a stretch for him playing Mexicanos and Chicanos? I guess it could be worse. They could have asked Antonio Banderas.