Director, John Jota Leaños is an Associate Professor and teaches in the Social Documentation program of UCSC’s Department of Film and Digital Media, and was a visual and installation artist before he turned filmmaker and an activist in both incarnations. He knows that the lines between nations or genres are rarely as clear on the ground as they are on a map.
Director's website: John Jota Leaños
“We began more than a year ago,” Leaños says “to think about ways to tell untold stories—or undertold stories—in American history.”
The “we” is a team of Xicano-identified collaborators Leaños has been working with for the past several years : San Francisco based writer Sean Levon Nash, New Mexican composer Cristóbal Martinez, animators including Texas artist Natalia Anciso and Reno artist Crystal Gonzalez, plus the Tucson mariachi ensemble Los Cuatro Vientos. Video: Team "Making of"
Their common area of concern is the US/ Mexico borderlands as constituted both in the past and in the present. Their interest lies not only in a geopolitical boundary, but in the territories of identification scattered across a common landscape. “Especially now, Leaños says, “with the emergence of new digital technology and new political and policing strategies, the border has become fluid. The elasticity of the border makes the issue a lot more complex.”
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