We Tell: Fifty Years of Participatory Community Media

Mar 7 to Mar 8
Saturday and Sunday 12 Noon

various - 1960s to Now! - 100m approx. - All Seats Just $5


We're excited to bring this traveling screening series that looks at the rich history of non-fiction films produced by community media  entities be it public access stations or video collectives from around the US!  These shorts spotlight the often hidden histories of place-based documentaries that situate their collaborative practices in specific locales, communities, and needs for social and political change.!


Citizens and communities approach issues surrounding job opportunities, occupations, wages, unemployment, and underemployment in a myriad of ways. They engage in union organizing. They reclaim stories about what is not spoken, repressed, or suppress. They launch political protests. Wages of Work spotlights lives from across the United States operating under various restraints on making a living. Focusing on labor and work, this program showcases shorts like Visual Communication’s Wataridori: Birds of Passage, which explores the legacy of first-generation Japanese Americans, and Los Trabajadores, made by Scribe and CATA (El Comite de Apoyo a Los Trabajadores Agricolas), which reveals the day-to-day experiences of mushroom farm laborers in Pennsylvania.

"The United Mine Workers of America 1970: A House Divided" - A disabled member of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) says “If the rank and file membership don’t take over their local unions and elect officers got some guts, they might as well throw up their hands and quit.”  [Dir. Dan Mohn, J. Benjamin Zickafoose & Appalshop - 1971 - 14m]

"Wataridori: Birds of Passage" - A tribute to the Issei (first-generation Japanese Americans) and their collective history of World War II internment and their post-war pilgrimage to the Manzanar concentration camp.  [Dir. Robert Nakamura & Visual Communications (VC) - 1974 - 37m]

"Plena is Work, Plena is Song"  - An examination of the cultural and political history of the plena, a Puerto Rican musical blend of African and Spanish rhythms.  [Dir. Pedro Rivera & Susan Zeig - 1989 - 37m]

VozMob (Voces Móviles/Mobile Voices) -  A how-to video about VozMob, a platform designed for immigrant and non-immigrant low-wage workers in Los Angeles to tell their stories via their cell phones.  [Dir. Institute for Popular Education of Southern California (IDESPSCA) - 2010 - 3m]

"I’m NOT on the Menu" - On September 18, 2018, fast food workers with the Fight For 15 Chicago campaign staged a walkout from fast food franchises in ten US cities over their employers’ failure to take action on sexual harassment.  [Dir. Gary M. Brooks, Andrew Friend & Labor Beat - 2018 - 11m]


Black Panther a.k.a. Off the Pig (Newsreel #19) -  Also known as Off the Pig, documents the Black Panther Party in 1967.  [Dir. San Francisco Newsreel - 1967 - 15m]

Black Women, Sexual Politics and the Revolution - In this important video, Black women speak candidly about sex, class, and gender roles. Black Women, Sexual Politics and the Revolution examines how African American women deal with pressing issues of abortion, battering, lack of abortion, battering, lack of health care, and poverty.  [Dir. Not Channel Zero - 1992 - 26m]

Who I Became - The story of Pounloeu Chea, a first-generation Cambodian American. In the early 1980s, he and his family escaped from Cambodia and settled in San Francisco.  [Dir. Aram (Sie Wai) Collier, Michael Siv, Spencer Nakasako & Vietnamese Youth Development Center (VYDC) - 2003 - 20m]

Legend of the Weresheep - In this short animation, a sheep drinks water from a toxic factory and turns into a zombie. Legends of the Weresheep was made with hand-drawn images that feature a river next to a factory spewing out black smoke. [Dir. Jusi Brieland El Boujami, Ned de Callejo, Ariane Farnswoth, Shyanna Marks, Shelby Ray, Amber Vigil, Klee Benally & Outta Your Backpack Media (OYBMedia) - 2007 - 3m]

Stories of TRUST: Calling for Climate Recovery -  a ten-part series about youth, law, and justice.  These short documentaries feature the voices of daring youth from across the country who went to court to compel the government to protect our atmosphere in trust, for future generations.  [Dir. Christi Cooper, Katie Lose Gilbertson, Kelly Matheson, Our Children’s Trust & WITNESS - 2011 - 8m]

Digital Smoke Signals: Aerial Footage from the Night of November 20, 2016 at Standing Rock - From April 2016 to February 2017, Standing Rock Indian Reservation members and environmental activists protested Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline—built to move oil from the North Dakota Bakken oil fields to southern Illinois—with an encampment to protect water, land, and Indigenous sacred sites.  [Dir. Myron Dewey & Digital Smoke Signals (DSS) - 2016 - 7m]

We Tell: Fifty Years of Participatory Community Media poster