• “The way to keep a secret, is not to tell it to anybody.”

    Loreta Velazquez
  • “I was, despite my Spanish ancestry, an American, heart and soul.”

    Loreta Velazquez
  • “My career has differed from that of most women.  Some things I have done have shocked persons for whom I have every respect.”

    Loreta Velazquez
  • “A woman labors to fight her own way in the world, and yet, she can often do things that a man cannot.”

    Loreta Velazquez
  • “War fare inevitably breeds corruption”

    Loreta Velazquez
  • “What a fearful thing this human slaughtering was.”

    Loreta Velazquez

AL DÍA Editorial

“Agui Carter explores the story of Loreta Velazquez, a Cuban immigrant who dressed as a man to be able to fight as a Confederate soldier, and later turn to spying for the Union, during the U.S. Civil War. This bit of hidden history not only contradicts the idea that Latino immigration to the U.S. is new, but also rejects stereotypes of Latina feminity, historic and contemporary.”

Two movies and a question
20140323_ALDIAfront_page

Editorial
March 19th, 2014

There has been a lot of discussion lately — again — about the lack of Latino representation in the media. Our editorial last week centered on it, and this week in the Twitterverse the hashtag #StillNoLatinas got a lot of play. It started out pointed specifically at Saturday Night Live’s lack of Latina cast members, but ended up critiquing the proliferation of stereotype and overall lack of representation of Latinos in everything from movies to electoral ballots.

Who we are; the complexity of our experiences, history and heritages; where we are going: what our evolving needs and contributions to this nation may be  … none of these are questions that can be satisfied by the stereotypes we most often see representing us in the media, even the supposedly Latino-centered media. They cannot be answered by the shallow pitches of marketers or politicians who believe that whatever image they have of one Latino is true for all Latinos.

Those questions are what AL DÍA answers every day on the web, every week in the pages of this newspaper, and regularly through the special events we organize and open to the public.

Three upcoming events are noteworthy for the answers they present to those questions at the heart of who we are and who we will be.

Hidden history

The pervasive — and wholly erroneous — notion about U.S. Latinos is that we are all recently arrived, fresh off the boat and wet behind the ears, and not part of, nor invested in, our nation’s history.

Filmmaker María Agui Carter handily dispels that notion with her documentary, “Rebel,” which will have its exclusive Philadelphia showing at AL DÍA’s Film Series presentation Friday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Agui Carter explores the story of Loreta Velazquez, a Cuban immigrant who dressed as a man to be able to fight as a Confederate soldier, and later turn to spying for the Union, during the U.S. Civil War.

This bit of hidden history not only contradicts the idea that Latino immigration to the U.S. is new, but also rejects stereotypes of Latina feminity, historic and contemporary. Agui Carter will be on hand after the documentary to answer audience questions.

A story beyond the rhetoric

Producer Josefina López is best known for her movie about the lives and aspirations of young Latinas, “Real Women have Curves.” The movie  featured the late Lupe Ontiveros and served as the breakout role for a young America Ferrera.

The most recent of López’s theatrical productions, “Detained in the Desert,” covers far different territory. It tells the story of two people on opposite sides of the immigration debate who find each other, lost in the desert, and in the process find the heart of their shared humanity.

AL DÍA hosts the Philadelphia premiere of the movie on Friday, April 4 at 7 p.m., again at the Academy of Natural Sciences  of Drexel University in Philadelphia.

The audience will be able to talk about the production and the realities it illuminates after the screening, when López, writer Iliana Sosa and actor Enrique Morones will be on hand to answer questions.

Looking at the future

There was a time that the surest way to reach the greatest number of Latinos was via radio. No more. The internet — and accessibility to it via 4G networks and mobile phones — has changed everything. Poll after poll shows that Latinos are among the most avid internet users in the nation. And that increasingly they want that content to be available equally in English and Spanish because they consume BOTH. The future of Latino media and of Latino engagement with news sources could not be clearer.

But this future presents editorial, programming and design challenges that no current news web site completely satisfies. AL DÍA plans to be the first when we unveil our new web site later this year. Come listen to web designers (Tabula Creative), programmers (Context), and to our own AL DÍA team talk about “Navigating the News” on Thursday, April 10  from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Part of Philly Tech Week, the presentation will give you an inside look at the reinvention of Philadelphia’s largest multilingual web site.

X

Buy DVD

One hour version of REBEL as broadcast on National PBS for personal use.
Buy

Educational

One hour teacher’s version of REBEL with audio/visual screening license.
Buy

Theatrical

75 min. feature Director’s Cut is available for theatrical and community screenings. Contact info@iguanafilms.com.