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The Unafraid – A Q&A Session About Dreamers

On Thursday, June 18th, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, giving thousands of young immigrants a relief from imminent deportation. This decision gives DACA recipients, or Dreamers as they are better known, and the activists who support them a temporary victory and a pathway to building the momentum needed towards permanent solutions such as giving a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants. Education on these issues is critical in helping all who support immigrants and want to affect change on behalf of their families, neighbors, coworkers, students, who make an important part of the city and make the country whole.

Over the years, CLACS has created public programming and teacher training initiatives, as well as supported faculty and student research, on different aspects of migration in order to promote an understanding of the diversity of the Latin American experience in the US. Programming such as the decade-long collaborative film and conversation series Indocumentales, opened our space to community members, filmmakers, educators and activists in an effort to build networks of solidarity and resources while exposing audiences to the nuances of issues related to immigration.

Indocumentales- The Unafraid (2018)

On April 2019, Indocumentales featured a screening of The Unafraid, a film by Anayansi Prado and Heather Courtney that documents the lives of three dreamers -Alejandro, Silvia and Aldo- in Georgia and their journey towards college life in a state that denied them the opportunity to attend their higher education institutions.  Here is a video of the conversation following its screening featuring Andrew Lim of the Partnership for a New American Economy and Staff Attorney at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) Celso Perez.

 

More insightful Indocumentales Q&A sessions can be found on this playlist.

CLACS Antiracist Resources

At CLACS we stand in solidarity with the plight of Black, Afro-Descendants, and Afro-Indigenous communities, as well as with Indigenous People, and Immigrants, and against racism, xenophobia, and abuse of any kind. Through the years, we have created promoted scholarship, initiatives and programming designed to address the historical, cultural, and institutional roots of these issues and open the academic space to these conversations. As part of our commitment to continue promoting conversations and offering educational resources that would help further the understanding our current state of affairs, we want to share in one place some of those events held over the years.

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CLACS K-12 Educator Initiatives You Should Know About

 

We are starting off the Summer with two initiatives designed to give educators tool and resources to address timely issues of immigration, language learning, and teaching in times of COVID-19.

 

CLACS 2020 Teacher Fellowship Program:

Teaching About Language, Contemporary Culture and Immigration

2020 Teacher Fellows Deadline Extended

The Teacher Fellowship Program promotes the development of K-12 curriculum focused on the themes of language, contemporary culture, and immigration in Latin America and the Caribbean. The year-long program will include monthly workshops and mentoring by experts and CLACS faculty members, culminating in the presentation of a capstone curricular project that is both classroom applicable and that can be made available online to educators.  Apply by June 5, 2020

APPLICATION


 

2020 Virtual Summer Institute for K-12 Educators:

Teaching the Middle East and Latin America in the Time of Covid-19

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The purpose of this summer institute, indeed “unprecedented” is an appropriate term, is to provide through a month-long virtual format some of the tools and content that will be useful for teachers in designing engaging curricula for students in the age of Covid-19.  How might historical incidences of plague in the Mediterranean and Middle East underscore the continued impact of global trade networks?  How have colonial legacies in Latin America impacted the infrastructural and governmental capabilities in dealing with disease?  What is the role of xenophobia towards and neglect of vulnerable populations, whether Middle Eastern refugee groups or indigenous communities in Latin America, in magnifying the intensity and probability of the spread of disease?  What can we learn from cultural or “traditional” health practices of these communities in preventing the spread of disease?

The institute’s sessions will address important theoretical approaches to terms such as “disease,” “pandemic,” “public health,” and “quarantine.”  Specialists will be presenting on their expertise drawn from a variety of fields, such as area studies, history, medical anthropology, political science, humanitarianism and human rights studies. Through a comparative approach that utilizes Latin America and the Middle East as two specific case studies, though with constant connections, influences, and impacts from/to the wider globe, we will explore both historical episodes of disease as well as the contemporary.

Please note that the institute is free, but registration is limited. To register, teachers must fill out a Google Form here and an Eventbrite here.

Recap – Coco Fusco on the Art of Intervention: A Screening and Artist Talk (2/24)

On February 24, CLACS hosted renowned interdisciplinary artist Coco Fusco for a screening of her film The Art of Intervention: The Performances of JuanSí González (2016), and a Q&A between Fusco and the audience regarding both the film and contemporary performance art in Cuba. In the film which includes footage and interviews, JuanSí González who now based in Ohio, talks about his performance pieces in 1980’s Havana and the politics of art in the Caribbean island. The discussion also covered the role of art in activism and ways in which public performance art often blurs the lines between art and politics. Visit the CLACS Youtube channel to view the entire event.

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New episode of Rimasun Podcast: Coronavirus Runasimipi Mast’arisqa

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Kay rimaymi “coronavirusmanta” mast’arin imayna ama hap’ichikunapaq ima. Julián Roca Aguilar, Perú suyumanta runasimi rimaqmi. Paymi “activista digital” nisqa imaymana rikch’aq rimanapi rimamun runasimi kawsananpaq willakamun ima llapa runasimi rimaq runakunapaq.

Este audio explica qué es el coronavirus y qué podemos hacer para evitar la transmisión. Julián Roca Aguilar es quechua hablante de Perú. El trabaja como activista digital, usando una variedad de medios de comunicación para promover el uso del idioma quechua e informando a la comunidad en su idioma originario.

This podcast explains what coronavirus is and how we can avoid spreading it. Julián Roca Aguilar is a Quechua speaker from Peru. As a digital activist, he uses a variety of media to promote the use of Quechua and to inform broader communities in his native language.

Click here to view Julián’s YouTube channel.

 

Recap – Boyhood and Masculinity in Contemporary Guyanese Film (2/3)

On February 3rd, CLACS began its Spring programing with the event Boyhood and Masculinity in Contemporary Guyanese Film. The event co-sponsored by the Department of Art & Public Policy at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, featured screenings of Gavin Ramoutar’s short film, Antiman, as well as Mason Richards’ short film The Seawall.

In Ramoutar’s Antiman, an introverted young teen navigates the pressure by his father to become a cricket player. While he must prove his masculinity, he privately reconciles his love for an older boy while living in a homophobic village in a Guyanese countryside. In Richards’ The Seawall, ten year-old Malachi prepares to leave the capital city of Georgetown, Guyana and his beloved grandmother for the United States. As he wrestles with the impending rupture from his motherland, the film examines how migration, felt and lived through a child’s experiences, fragments a family. 

 

The screenings were followed by an insightful conversation on the issues of boyhood, masculinity, and migration, within the Guyanese and Caribbean diaspora with Mason and Ramoutar, and Dr. Sheril Antonio who is Associate Arts Professor in the department of Art and Public Policy and the Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. The event was organized in partnership with Grace Aneiza Ali, who also moderated the conversation.

Click here to Watch a video recap of this event.

Rio de Janeiro and The Aftermath of Marielle Franco’s Execution

Posted by Susana Costa Amaral, PhD Candidate, Department of Spanish and Portuguese at NYU

Eu sou porque nós somos” was Marielle Franco’s campaign slogan when she ran for office in 2016. The Brazilian congresswoman from Favela da Maré was elected with more than 40,000 votes for Rio de Janeiro’s Legislative Assembly. Black, lesbian, single-mother, she was a human rights activist, who constantly criticized and denounced police abuse and civil rights violations, particularly when it occurred in the most vulnerable areas of the city. Her political platform was based on the promise to give visibility to black and peripheral minorities of Rio de Janeiro.

On March 14, 2018, Marielle Franco was executed along with her driver, Anderson Gomes, while leaving a public event held at Casa das Pretas (Black Women’s House), a space created for hosting the voices of black women from the favelas. After a polemic investigation that lasted over a year, two former police officers were arrested accused of killing Franco, shedding light on Rio de Janeiro’s parallel state ruled by mílicias – paramilitary gangs led by Rio’s police force. Acting as an almost lateral power, the milícias operate wherever there is a vacuum or omission of the state. And for the last two decades, these groups have grown more powerful and their areas of influence have spread throughout the “marvelous city,” under the blind eye of Rio’s governors, of which five are or have been imprisoned sometime just in the past three years.

Despite the arrests, the question “Who killed Marielle Franco?” still haunts the streets of the city. It is unknown who ordered Marielle’s murder, as the two police officers accused of carrying out the action used to operate a “crime office,” responsible for executing commissioned killings.

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A Mountain Drilled Into A Million Pieces

Posted by Ricardo Duarte – PhD Student in Spanish and Portuguese at NYU

“Everything in here seems covered in dust.” This was the thought that crossed my mind a few times while walking in the city of Brumadinho. The uncanny glitter that sparkled from the dust made it clear that it was not only the ordinary dirt that one thinks when picturing a dusty city, but that it was iron dust. While noticing how this mineral dust covered everything I could see – plants, bridges, streets -, a train passed by. A train whose wagons were loaded with tons of mined materials. In the background: a “pulverized mountain,” to use the title of one of Carlos Drummond de Andrade’s poems that bring questions related to mining to the forefront. Accordingly, the poem concludes by focusing on how the mountain that once appeared eternal when compared to the finite human life- “Of all Andrades that have gone and that will go, the mountain that does not go away,” – after being “drilled into a million pieces” only leaves behind a “miserable iron dust, and this does not go away – ever.” These last two verses kept drumming in my head while walking around the city. What stays in sites of such predatory extractivist activities, and how it affects the human bodies living in these sites, such as breathing problems, or other non-human entities. 

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When Planting Trees is Controversial

Posted by Alanna Elder – MA Candidate at CLACS / Global Journalism at NYU

Eucalyptus

Route 1, which leads from Asunción to the department of Itapúa. Photo Credit CC https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archivo:Ruta_1_paraguay_misiones.jpg

A few weeks ago I went to a seed fair in Itapúa, the department in the southeast corner of Paraguay. We left at 4:30 a.m., and the sky lightened slowly as we turned through a tangle of highways south of Asuncion. We started seeing rows of these tall, skinny trees; backlit, they made a strobe-light out of the rising sun. The NGO director who was driving had already told me what she thought of eucalyptus, or rather, of PROEZA, a state plan incentivizing farmers to grow the tree. PROEZA has won support from the UN’s Green Climate Fund, a pool of $10 billion reserved to help poorer countries cut emissions, on the promise that it will reduce poverty while reforesting and promoting renewable energy. PROEZA’s critics say it will yield plantations that demand pesticides and constrain biodiversity, engulfing more lands and farmers into soybean-corn systems by powering grinders with biomass.

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Where the River Meets the City

Posted by Alanna Elder – MA Candidate at CLACS / Global Journalism at NYU

A street in Tacumbu, an area of Asunción, June 2019. Photo by Alanna Elder.

I spent at least a third of an 8-hour layover in Houston exploring Paraguay on Google Maps, looking ahead to when I could finally see and move beyond the length of an airport terminal. Still laboring under the illusion that I would go for regular runs while I was in the capital, I made a mental note to check out the Avenida Costanera, a freeway and bike path that wraps around the Paraguay River. Tourist sites note the tereré stands, rollerblade rental, and boat access across the river to the neighboring department, Presidente Hayes. (That is, U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes, a b-side character once nicknamed “The Great Unknown” by his own party but appreciated in Paraguay for deciding a territorial dispute in the country’s favor). From the avenue, you can see the old city center and the new, two clumps of towers balancing the skyline. They might be swaying imperceptibly in the flow of money, history, and traffic, or facing each other down like the planning edition of Dorian Grey.

The Costanera seemed like a nice parallel for Riverside Park, the superhighway of green space and river access that fringes Manhattan’s West Side, and the closest park to my apartment. These two areas have something else in common: they caused some inconvenience for the people already living there. In the late 1930s, Robert Moses’ Park Commission added 132 acres to Riverside, fielding criticism for razing not only a so-called Hoovertown built by veterans, but also the Columbia Yacht Club. People still build shelters tucked along the Hudson, and in the 1990s another large group was kicked out for a state transportation project.

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