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Re-Take Oakland filmmakers Jessica Jones, Jenn Lee Smith, and A.K. Sandhu presented three films. With their guest speakers and community partners, they held a community discussions relating to the contributions of black women to Oakland with our audience members.

  • Women Who Ride (Jessica Jones) shared an intimate portrait of D’Vious Wayz, Oakland’s first black women’s motorcycle club, as they come together to build a community around their passion for riding. This sneak peak introduced the themes and characters that will appear in a longer film slated to finish this fall. Guest speaker Frankie “Tish” Edwards spoke on black women creating a positive space for themselves.

  • Queen of the Court (Jenn Lee Smith) introduced Cheri King, a tennis tournament director and coach, as she teaches students the art of tennis and shares ways it may bridge socio-economic gaps. Guest speaker Cheri King spoke on how tennis can be empowering for black and brown youth.

  • For Love and Legacy (A.K. Sandhu) followed Dana King and Fredrika Newton as they create the first public art sculpture honoring Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, and how they reconcile their mixed-race identity. Guest speakers Dana King and Fredrika Newton of the Dr. Huey P. Newton Foundation spoke on the importance of women’s contributions to community building and social justice movements.

 

Oaktown Stories June 5th 7-9p

 

Re-Take Oakland filmmakers Corinne Manabat Cueva, Jay Gash, Lucy Saephan, and teo octavia presented four films. With their guest speakers and community partners, they held deeply engaging discussions relating to the personal stories of Oaklanders with audience members.

 

  • Rooted in Resilience (teo octavia) focused on refugee and advocate Danny Thongsy as he fights against his deportation and for the rights of Southeast Asians. Guest speakers and community partners Lan Nguyen and Jun Hamamoto (Stand4Danny) centered the themes of grassroots activism and advocacy, Southeast Asian refugee and immigrant stories, displacement and deportation, and mobilization and movement building.

 

  • When the Garden Comes (Jay Gash) explored their family home and garden in North Oakland through three generations and how it can be a source of memories. Guest speakers and community partners Creasie Jordan and Keith Battle (BAVC) centered the themes of gardening and land for the black and brown community, defining legacy, and family histories and traditions.

 

  • Synchronized (Corinne Manabat Cueva) embraced 5 women of color as they collectively reflect about their experiences living and thriving in Oakland. Guest speakers and community partners Carmen Wong and Grace Patterson (BAVC/Reel Stories) centered the themes of expectations about Oakland; personal identity, place, and space; and the impacts of being creatives.

 

  • My Name is Lai (Lucy Saephan) drew a portrait of her Mien American grandmother as a cultural bearer carrying generational wisdom connecting her experiences in both Laos and Oakland. Guest speakers and community partners Lai and Muong Saephan (Lao Iu Mien Cultural Association) centered the themes of the Mien community in Oakland, intergenerational relationships and legacy, and the community’s future.

 

Re-Take Oakland filmmakers Corinne Manabat Cueva and Lucy Saephan discussed the relationship between culture, ecology, and personal storytelling at the 2021 AAAS conference. They screened their two new short films: My Name is Lai, featuring Lucy’s Mien grandmother talking about her experiences of life, and Synchronized featuring women of color discussing their relationship to living in Oakland.

[Little White Lie]

Little White Lie is a personal film about how the filmmaker came to terms with being raised as a white Jewish girl after discovering that her biological father was black.

Reflections by Sherry Chiang

{Jennifer and Lacey]The documentary Little White Lie (2014), conceptualized and directed by filmmaker Lacey Schwartz Delgado, raises many questions related to identity and shifts in self-perception. Following the screening event on August 18th, 2019 at the East Bay Community Center, she interacted with the audience, discussing perspectives on denial and acceptance.

First, Schwartz described how the concept of the film evolved. Little White Lie, she explains, shifted from a documentary focusing on an issue-based film about Jewish and black communities in 2002 to a deeply personal work when filming began in 2006. “What is the beginning, middle, and end [of the film],” Lacy said, becomes informed by shifts in self-perception. This relates to a bigger notion of the social construct race, where there is a choice between focusing on big societal issues versus individual familial structures. Lacey mentions that struggles around race are often experienced interpersonally, such as within families, instead of through overarching societal issues.

Lacey Schwartz, within Little White Lie, identifies as a black woman. When questioned by an audience member on whether her self-identity was exclusive or non-exclusive, specifically relating to Lacey’s origins of being born half Jewish, she says that while identifying as Jewish and black now, identities are fluid and that race is defined by perceptions of people.

While interviewing people after the question and answer session, I found out that another volunteer experienced a similar hiding and denial of identity. She, like Lacey, realized she had a different father following the beginning of college, yet she does not discuss the issue with her mother due to the cultural shame or stigma her mom would face, internally and externally. From other audience members, I found several second timer viewers of the film, and that Little White Lie became of personal significance to them because of its resonance with their stories.

 

With Ethnocine, we co-sponsored a Bad Feminists Making Films event at MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana), at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association with support from Rhiza Collective.

Tricia Creason-ValenciaChanging Boundaries: The History of San Jose tells the stories of working people, political leaders and dreamers who built the city of San Jose.

Elena Herminia GuzmanSmile4Kime explores mental health, race, and policing through the eyes and experience of a young African American woman dealing with the trauma of sexual assault.

Laura Menchaca RuizHay Betl7em, co-directed by Khader Handal, supplements occupation-centric media representations of Palestinians through Bethlehemites telling their stories.

Nadia ShihabJaddoland follows the filmmaker’s return to her Texas hometown to visit her mother, an artist from Iraq, to witness the beauty and solace that emerge through her creative process.

 

[discussion on stage]

Filmmakers discussed how their work addresses feminist intersectional analyses, including race, class, sexuality, nationality, gender, and/or religion at all stages of the filmmaking process.

[AAAS cover]

 

We presented at the annual conference of the Association for Asian American Studies with a panel titled: “Embracing West Asia (the Middle East) in Asian American Identity in Media Representation.”

We screened film clips by Ina Adele Ray, Sabereh Kashi, Jennifer Crystal Chien, and Raeshma Razvi on personal stories of family, friends, and community leaders of immigrant communities from Vietnam, Iran, Turkey, and Afghanistan.

We spoke on the cultural and historic relationship between West Asia (Middle East) and East and South Asian people. We supported thinking of Asian American more broadly to be inclusive of Middle Easterners, as a voluntary multiple identity in addition to other identities.

 

[Tales from the Middle East]

 

[Tales from the Middle East]With support from California Humanities, Neda Nobari Foundation, and in collaboration with Kehilla Synagogue and the Islamic Cultural Center of Northern California, we presented three filmmakers from the Middle East who engaged audience members in short film screenings and community dialogues.

 

 

[Tales from the Middle East]

Michal Aviad, Sabereh Kashi, and Itir Yakar focused on personal storytelling as a way to bring greater understanding of communities from Palestine, Israel, Armenia, Turkey, Iran, and the U.S.

 

 

Outreach partners included: IC3, Jewish Film Institute, ONiT, City of Oakland Cultural Affairs, and SFFILM.

Two sold out events took place on February 17th and 18th in Oakland, California and brought together community members of diverse ethnic and faith backgrounds.