(Nov. 4, 2011) -- UTSA will host two screenings of "As Long As I Remember: American Veteranos," a documentary by nationally recognized San Antonio filmmaker Laura Varela. The UTSA Mexican American Studies/Community Colloquium will host a reception followed by the film screening at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 9 in the Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (1.328) at the Downtown Campus. A question-and-answer session will follow. The event is free and open to the public. An encore screening is set for 1 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 10 in Buena Vista Street Building Room 2.304.
Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, Varela's documentary on Chicanos' experiences during the Vietnam War, aired on PBS stations across the country. The film examines the steep personal toll and enduring legacy of the war on three artists from South Texas: visual artist Juan Farias, author Michael Rodriguez and actor-poet Eduardo Garza. Through the personal histories and experiences of these Chicano veterans, the film explores the role of art in the sorting of memories, post-traumatic stress discorder and activism.
The film chronicles their upbringing in the Mexican American commmunity, their war experiences and their lives afterward. Their accounts illuminate the minority experience in the military at a time when Mexican Americans accounted for approximately 20 percent of U.S. casualties in Vietnam while comprising only 10 percent of the country's population.
Varela's activism and work with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and support from the Humanities Texas Funding and Latino Public Broadcasting moved American Public Media to air the vital documentary. While documentary films are growing in popularity, recognition of Varela's work and the development of documentaries from a Chicana/o perspective are relatively rare.
According to Varela, her primary goal was to have the film shown on PBS so national audiences could better understand the Mexican American experience. Before the national airing, the film was presented at veterans centers and for veterans groups. She hopes the documentary will be used as an educational resource for universities and high schools in discussions about Chicanos in the military, art and PTSD.
Varela has received a great response including many personal letters such as one from a veteran who said the film "filled a hole that couldn't be healed." Additionally, letters from the children of Vietnam veterans who felt alone in their experiences expressed having a fuller historical understanding of the era.
The UTSA screenings are sponsored by the UTSA Mexican American Studies, College of Education and Human Development Consortium for Social Transformation, Bicultural-Bilingual Studies, Department of History, American Studies and Office of Student Activities. The screenings support UTSA's strategic initiative to serve the public by offering programs that expand the community's awareness of Mexican American history through the visual and cultural arts.
For more information, contact Marie Miranda, UTSA director of Mexican American studies, at 210-458-2675.
Join the Center for Military Families for a panel on Politics in the Service of Military Families, featuring Cedric Leighton, David Splitter, Steve Huerta, and the Office of Congressman Henry Cuellar. The event is free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Street Building, Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BVB 1.328), Downtown Campus
UTSA Dance classes will take the stage and share their talents and passion for dance! Come support our growing dance program! $10 admission
Buena Vista Street Building Theater (BVB 1.326), Downtown Campus
This panel presentation will look at the history of the YWCA and the impact the organization has had on women in the San Antonio community.
McKinney Humanities Building (MH 2.02.10), Main Campus
The Demography Lecture Series continues with Dr. Barbara Bird of American University. Her topic focuses on Insights Into a Hard to Find Population: Latino Entrepreneurs in Metro Washington, D.C. Event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in the pay stall spaces of the Monterrey surface lot.
Monterrey Building (MNT 3.240), Downtown Campus
This video tells the story of four Latina lesbians who fought for exoneration after being wrongfully convicted of sexually assaulting two girls during the Satanic Panic witch-hunt era of the 1980s and 1990s.
North Paseo Building (NPB 1.114), Main Campus
Tejana/Indígena author Ire'ne Lara Ailva will read from her latest work and discuss her approach to reimagining Tejan@ myths.
Main Building (MB 2.404), Main Campus
Muralist Crystal Arias will discuss her current mural "Cultivate the Past to Prestige" at La India Herbs and themes she utilizes in her other works.
McKinney Humanities Building (MH 3.02.26), Main Campus
The UTSA Department of Modern Languages and Literatures is a co-sponsor of the CARTA 19th Annual Conference. The group meets annually to exchange educational programs, ideas, and techniques and to network with other teachers of Russian. Registration required.
DoubleTree by Hilton, Downtown San Antonio
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