Creation Story: Springs of Life at Blessings of our Beginnings 10/5 at 7pm

Come be a part of this Interactive Public Art Installation Creation Story: Springs of Life for Blessings of our Beginnings; as Carmen Tafolla, The City’s inaugural poet laureate, commemorates 10,000 years of San Antonio’s history through poetry, music, art and dance.

Creation Story: Springs of Life represents the four sacred springs located in Central Texas: Barton Springs, Comal Springs, San Marcos Springs and San Pedro Springs.   The indigenous word for the San Antonio River is Yanaguana, Spirit Water, which starts at San Pedro Springs. This installation was inspired by a creation story of the full moon passing over the springs and causing them to burst. The bursting of the water represents Mother Earth birthing humankind.  In the story we dance at midnight under the full moon to celebrate our creation. The altar in the middle represents the Sun, and the surrounding lights represent the four direction: East, West, North and South.  This multimedia installation is honoring  Mother Earth and the sacred waters from which all life emanates.

 

 

 

 

Lead Artist: Laura Varela

Varela is a San Antonio-based documentary filmmaker and media artists whose work as a storyteller is shaped by her roots growing up on the US/ Mexico Border in El Paso, Texas.  Her work navigates between ideological, cultural, linguistic and physical borders through the use of film and contemporary art installations.

 

 

Installation Team:

Greg Cerveny

Rebel Mariposa

Rebel Mariposa was born and raised in San Anto and grew up in the back-stages of the Guadalupe and Jump Start theaters amongst powerful mujeres artists and their daughters.  She has preformed professionally as an actor, dancer and musician in Texas, California and Mexico.  She has created public and private mosaic art installations, taught dance, puppetry and music in public schools and is a co-creator of a vegan food/events company .  She has recently relocated back to San Anto after being in San Diego for the past 7 years.

https://www.facebook.com/rebelmariposa

Gilbert Rodriguez Ras G

http://www.reverbnation.com/dubgideon

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Shashamani-Sound/145230748852125?ref=hl

https://www.facebook.com/pages/DUB-Gideon/118403481579130?ref=hl

George Rosenbaum

http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=243968871&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Michael Witzel

Michael Witzel was born in Lancaster,PA and attended Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia,PA where he
received his BFA . He studied sculpture at SUNY Albany where he received his MA in Fine Arts. He
has taught sculpture and drawing in the past. He has been involved with art exhibit installations and
fabrication of museum artifacts and displays for years, anything from a life size T-Rex skeleton replica
to antique Tibetan tankas to contemporary artworks.

 

Special Thanks:

Greg Perez

http://www.indigenouscultures.org/

Eduardo Codina

http://www.cosmic-expression.org/


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Laura Varela, New-Style Filmmaker, Coming To Houston

Laura Varela  sees things that others do not see, and as a documentary filmmaker, she shares her vision by exploring new styles in storytelling.  She tells history with detail and force, and in her recent work, combines filmmaking with actual live art installations.LauraVarelasml

“My work is about those things that I know were not right, and now I can try to change them.” When she was 16 years old, growing up along the US-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, she saw a man shot to death, just 10 feet in front of her.  She saw Mexican American Vietnam veterans dying from drug overdoses.  The violence that is reported in the press and media was the everyday social environment in which she grew up and which now inform her filmmaking: “I saw a lot of tragedy, things children should not see.”

Varela produced and directed “As Long As I Remember: American Veteranos” in 2009 and her masterful command of the stories of three artists, Vietnam war veterans, surely comes from seeing this human pain during her teen years, so close and personal.  The documentary aired on PBS nationally and is now on DVD.  It is hands down gripping in its exploration, in rare intimate fashion, of the agony soldiers live with after war.  Three Mexican American artists are the subjects, and if your view of war and pain has come only from the sensational news angles or facile depictions of sad moments, Varela’s movie will change you.   To get inside the ideas and emotions of these three men it takes a filmmaker who understands  Mexican American beliefs, how family relationships work, how gender roles are socially taught.  Varela receives letters from Veterans who found, in her film, the expression of something that they wanted to but could never put into words.

“Filmmaking is my activism,” she says.  Her neighborhood was middle class and she knew she had to leave the violence and that education was the path.  She knew this by “learning about the Chicano movement, learning from feminist theory, really looking at history, people’s history.”

Laura Varela is coming to Houston on March 28 to screen her film, “Enlight-Tents,” a short film about the  art installation she daringly set up in front of, and on the face of, the Alamo.  It screens at the Aurora Picture Show art event, “An Evening of Texas Mexican Film, Food and Meaning” during which a 9-course indigenous cuisine chef’s tasting menu will be served to guests as they watch her film overhead on a giant screen.

EnlightTents

For “Enlight-Tents” she projected slogans and faces of Native Americans to create a monumental slide show using the Alamo as a projection screen.  Her film is the adaption of the installation.  She did receive permission to project the images but did not have to explain beforehand exactly what the images were going to be.  She collaborated on the project with Vaago Wieland, an artist colleague from Germany.

According to Sarah Fisch, writer for San Antonio Current, “some say that Laura Varela and Vaago Wieland’s ‘Enlight-Tents’ installation on the Alamo grounds…and its photographic projections of faces of color…onto the Alamo’s stony face — unnerved a starchy Old Guard.” Art pieces, whether structure or performance-based, are not welcome at the Alamo.  Not any more.

“I want to raise topics, explore solution, there may be solutions…That for me is filmmaking.”  As part of the Chicano artist community, she believes that artists inspire us to see what can be.  She asked herself sometime ago, “What can I do that I love and can make change?” The answer is filmmaking.

 

To read the original article visit

http://adansblog.com/wordpress/2013/03/laura-varela-new-style-filmmaker-coming-to-houston/

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AS LONG AS I REMEMBER to Screen 6/22/12 Military History Museum in Houston

AS LONG AS I REMEMBER: AMERICAN VETERANOS

CLICK HERE

 

 

Friday, June 22nd
6:00pm – 7:30pm
Military History Museum
3302 Canal @ Sampson
FREE!

Quantum Demographic History: Film night at the Military History Museum
Friday June 22, 2012, 6:00p – 7:30. Free.
Quantum Demographics: We are American History.  Screening of the film: AS LONG AS I REMEMBER: AMERICAN VETERANOS, by San Antonio filmmaker Laura Varela. Laura Varela will introduce the film and there will be a Q and A with her afterwards.
Hosted: Librotraficante Lips Mendez. Site: The new Military History Museum, CEO-Jesus Hernandez.
Historical fact: 3 Latinos earned Medals of Honor for service during the American Civil War.

Partners: Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, SWAMP, The Museum of Military History, Houston Community College Central CAB, HCC Central English Department, The Egalitarian-the student newspaper of HCC since 1974, Comcast Houstonsvoice.com, TheAvenueofHouston.com, and of course, The Librotraficantes.

 

 

Location : Military History Museum 3302 Canal @ Sampson
Admission: Free.

Laura Varela will present a talk titled “How to use your college education to create your dream job,” Thursday, June 21, 8:30 am – 9:50 am, Houston Community College Central Campus, Learning Hub 100. Free.

http://www.librotraficante.com/index.php/future/event-calendar-2/icalrepeat.detail/2012/06/22/10/-/quantum-demographic-history-film-night-at-the-military-history-museum

AS LONG AS I REMEMBER: AMERICAN VETERANOS examines the steep personal toll and enduring legacy of the Vietnam 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 examines the role art plays in the sorting of memories, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), activism and the current conflict in Iraq.  AS LONG AS I REMEMBER chronicles their upbringing in the Mexican-American community, their military service in Vietnam, and their lives after the war. Farias, Rodriguez and Garza’s poignant and powerful recollections illuminate the minority experience in the U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps at a time when Mexican Americans accounted for approximately 20 percent of U.S. casualties in Vietnam, despite comprising only 10 percent of the country’s population.
Funded by Humanties Texas, City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs and Latino Public Broadcasting.Support in part provided by the Southwest Alternate Media Project.

 

 

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Screening On November 9th @UTSA – (The Downtown Campus)

 

 

The MAS/Community Colloquium Screen’s As Long as I Remember with filmmaker Laura Varela on Wednesday, November 9th, at UTSA, Downtown Campus, Buena Vista Building Auala Canaria Lecture Hall. Reception begins at 5:30 pm and film with questions and answers to follow.

 

National Recognition of Local Documentary Filmmaker

The University of Texas, San Antonio-October 20, 2011- – Throughout National Hispanic Heritage Month, As Long As I Remember, Laura Varela’s documentary on Chicanos during the Viet Nam War aired on PBS stations throughout the country.  This film engages ideas about post-traumatic stress syndrome in the context of activism and the role of art in memory.

The Mexican American Studies (MAS) program, in conjunction with the Consortium for Social Transformation,  History Department, and American Studies program at UTSA, will celebrate the national debut and recognition of San Antonio’s documentary filmmaker’s work. While documentary films are developing a market, the recognition of her work and the development of documentaries from a Chicana/o perspective are still needed.

It was Varela’s activism and work with the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) and support form the Humanities Texas Funding, and Latino Public Broadcasting that moved American Public Media to air this vital documentary.

Varela stated that her idea was always to have it on PBS, to get national audiences to understand the Mexican American experience. Prior to its national airing, the film has been presented at veteran’s centers, with veterans’ groups, and the response has been great. Ms. Varela has received many personal letters, like from a veteran who said that the film “filled a hole that couldn’t be healed.” Additionally, letters from children of Viet Nam vets, who felt alone in their experience, expressed having a fuller historical understanding of the era.

With this documentary, it is Varela’s hope to use the film as an educational venue for universities and high schools where discussions about Chicanos in the military, art, or PTSD would examine the different perspectives that the film offers.

Contact Information:

Dr. Marie Miranda, Director Mexican American Studies

210-458-2675

Marie.Miranda@UTSA.EDU

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“As Long As I Remember: American Veteranos” Review by Current

http://m.sacurrent.com/screens/film/war-stories-de-la-raza-1.1202686

The review this above link  connects to was originally published 9/14/2011

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INTERVIEW w/ NewsTaco

http://www.newstaco.com/2011/10/04/latina-documentary-filmmaker-works-for-social-justice/

The above link is a recently e- published interview that touches on Laura Valera’s childhood and her film “As Long As I Remember: American Veteranos”.

laura-varela.jpg (346×480)

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Enlight-Tents!

Enlight-Tents
Concept by Vaago Weiland and Laura Varela

Enlight-Tents documentation film created for the installation by Vaago Weiland and Laura Varela for Luminaria Arts Night in San Antonio, TX March 14, 2009.

Installation for Public Space at the Alamo

Generations of mankind lived and travelled in tents. All of their possessions were placed in their tents. Everything took place in nature or these tents: life, love, birth and death. The most important values of life are inside of us–inside of our being. We don’t need thick walls to shelter these values and beliefs. We don’t need spaces built like fortifications such as missions, cathedrals, and other buildings of worship. We don’t need defensive fortification to feel secure or connected with other life giving energy. The understanding of the basic law must be inside of us–our heart, soul and mind. The beauty of mother earth reminds us of this constantly.

It is easy to change your position when you are living in a tent. It is easy to change your point of view when you are not living behind thick walls. You are just covered and sheltered by a thin membrane and are coexisting with nature when you live in this manner. This membrane is easy to destroy; everyone has to handle it carefully. You need a lot of sensibility, respect, and knowledge to handle it. 

Vaago Weiland is from Europe and studied architecture as well as sculpture and spent time in San Antonio in 2007. He recognized that the San Antonio Missions were built like castles and defensive fortifications. Laura Varela is a Chicana from Texas whose roots in the Americas are grounded as far south as Durango Mexico and north to the Great Plains. Throughout their discussion about the arrival of Europeans and the effect on indigenous cultures and people one conclusion was clear: the belief and knowledge of the basic law of the universe and nature was sheltered behind thick walls for the Europeans.

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Laura Varela will be teaching: Personal Stories as Universal Themes @ Gemini INK SEPT 10!

More Info:

Through the Program University Without Walls local artist like  Laura Varela  are able  pass on their knowledge to local community members.  You can register today to make sure you secure your spot. *Space is limited to the first 15 who sign up * Registration ends September 7th!

Below is the direct link to University Without Wall’s section of the larger part of the Gemini Ink website:

http://geminiink.org/about/programs/uww

The Filmmaker Laura Varela

Photo by Red Baklava

More about her:

Laura Varela is a San Antonio-based documentary filmmaker and media artists whose work as a storyteller is shaped by her roots growing up on the US/ Mexico Border in El Paso, Texas.  Her work navigates between ideological, cultural, linguistic and physical borders through the use of film and contemporary art installations

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Upcoming San Antonio Klrn Screenings: AS LONG AS I REMEMBER

schedule for KLRN

Above is the KLRN for the Upcoming AS LONG AS I REMEMBER Screenings

*To learn more about AS LONG AS I REMEMBER click below

http://www.varelafilm.org/?page_id=73


**To visit the KLRN website for to view the original of the above schedule click below

http://www.klrn.org/Programming/ViewProgram.aspx?ProgramID=196207

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@UNT

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As Long as I Remember :American Veteranos DVD BUY IT TODAY

Click here! Click here!

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AS LONG AS I REMEMBER to Screen 6/22/12 Military History Museum in Houston

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“As Long As I Remember: American Veteranos” Review by Current

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INTERVIEW w/ NewsTaco

http://www.newstaco.com/2011/10/04/latina-documentary-filmmaker-works-for-social-justice/ The above link is a recently e- published interview that touches on Laura Valera’s childhood and her film “As Long As I Remember: American Veteranos”.