(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.
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
This is a terrific opportunity for incoming transfer students to network with staff that serve our veteran, non-traditional, and transferring students, as well as meet transfer peer mentors who can help answer questions about UTSA.
Main Building ground floor lobby, Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
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