Screening and presentation by the filmmaker, followed by a Q & A. An informal reception will follow.
“The Border as Spectacle and Performance”
In popular discourse, the US-Mexico border is a no-man’s land of militarization, drug wars and ‘illegal’ immigration. In opposition to this dominant view, my films are rooted in a border landscape that myself, and my family, know as home. There is a popular Tejano saying, “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.” Our community has been living in, and crossing the border, for generations. Gloria Anzaldúa called this place in between nations a “third space.” Like many people with family on both sides, I see a border that is as playful as it is dramatic. My films seek to challenge assumptions about the border, and to illuminate the performance and spectacle in this space known for political tension. I will present how my filmmaking practice tilts the lens to create a border aesthetic rooted in place.
Cristina Ibarra has been making award-winning films that explore the US-Mexico border for the past 16 years. The New York Times called her newest, Las Marthas, set in Laredo, Texas, during the annual Martha Washington debutante pageant, “a striking alternative portrait of border life.” It premiered on PBS’s Independent Lens and won the jury award at CineFestival and Best Latino Film at CinemaTropical and NBC Latino. Her documentary collaboration The Last Conquistador had a national broadcast on POV; USA Today called the film “heroic.” Dirty Laundry: A Homemade Telelenovela also won multiple awards at film festivals and was broadcast on PBS. She’s a Sundance Women’s Initiative fellow and on the Sundance Alumni Diversity Outreach Committee. Her new documentary feature, The Infiltrators, focused on undocumented Americans and for-profit detention facilities, will be completed next year.
Hosted by the Moody College of Communication’s Latino Media Arts & Studies Speaker Series and cosponsored by the Department of Radio-Television-Film, the Center for Mexican American Studies, the Department of Mexican American & Latina/o Studies, and the Latino Research Initiative.