Mi Vida en San Francisco

A Public Digital Arts Center
June 23, 2009, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Libraries


Last week I stopped by the John Stienbeck Library in Salinas CA to check out their new digital arts lab.  Since I have discovered this place, I have been coming here almost every day to take advantage of their facilities  (Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, and more).  Anyways, I noticed a kid around ten or eleven who was spending more time using these computers than I was.  He would be there before I came in and still be there when I left.  I realized that this is how all great artists start off.  Nobody is just born with a natural talent at creating something incredible.  It takes hours upon hours of testing, creating, analyzing, thinking, brainstorming and then starting the whole process all over again. And then, with a lot of hard work, comes the creation of something amazing.  But it takes time and most people have the tendency to give up.  Every artist from Quentin Tarantino to Miles Davis has gone through this period of uneasiness.  But, similar to Ira Glass‘s words in the clip below, you got to do a large volume of work and you got to fight through this stage because its the only way “your work will be as good as your ambitions.”

More Pictures of John Steinbeck Library and Digital Arts Center


News Worthy?
April 29, 2009, 3:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

-In Congo, over 5 million people have died since 1998 due to war.

-Last month, Sudan’s President, Omar al-Bashir, expelled 13 humanitarian organizations that provide support to over 2 million people.

-Almost 4 million Somalians depend on food donations, but pirate attacks on ships have made it difficult for these people to receive aid.

These are just a few facts I found after researching issues in Africa.  Yet are these issues relevant in mainstream media? Agenda-setting is when prominent media institutions have a significant influence on what stories are considered news worthy.  I am doing a project about agenda-setting in America and I would like to know what you think.

  • Does news in America accurately portray what is going on in Africa?
  • Do Americans perceive Africa as news worthy?
  • Do you feel like you hear a lot of news regarding Africa?





Map of Media Production
March 12, 2009, 5:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have made various kinds of media about different locations in San Francisco. The pins represent those locations (Except for Ryan’s project). Make sure you zoom out enough so you can see Central America.  There is a pin on Costa Rica.  If you click on a pin, you will see a brief description of the project and a link.

Blogging Slow
March 5, 2009, 4:45 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I have been blogging for about half a year now and I have come to realization that I am a “slow blogger.”  As mentioned in “Haste, Scorned: Blogging at a Snail’s Pace” by Sharon Otterman, slow blogging is “a rejection of immediacy” or “not having what you write be the first thing that comes out of your head.”  I would consider my self a “slow blogger” but not because of the same reasons of this article.


I am not “rejecting immediacy.”  I write slow because that is the only way I know how to write.  It has always taken me a while to generate written content.  I feel uncomfortable writing something very fast and then letting other people read it with out editing or thinking about what I have written.  I take a lot time when I write because it is a habit or may be because I think slower.  Either way, It is hard for me to pump out my thoughts and ideas on a blog with out taking a lot of time.




The Greatest Silence: Rape in the Congo
February 28, 2009, 12:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

“The Greatest Silence:  Rape in the Congo” is by far one of the most disturbing films I have ever seen.  In all honesty, I do not think there are any words I could say that would accurately portray the atrocities in this film let alone what is going on in Congo right now.  I saw this film at the annual USF Human Rights Film Festival and after walking out of the theater I was left in state of shock.  I strongly encourage you to see this film because I believe that awareness for this issue is key to change.


            In this film, the director, Lisa Jackson, travels through the Democratic Republic of Congo in order to investigate the increasing reports of rape. In Congo, rebel militias use rape as means of humiliation and intimidation, but even more noticeable, rape is used as a weapon of war.  The rape victims tell chilling stories about unimaginable mental and physical experiences.  Even more disturbing, Jackson interviews rapists who think that their actions are justified due to the nature of Congo’s civil war.  Some of the soldiers reported raping twenty to thirty women in last year alone.  Its almost like rape has become socially acceptable to soldiers, in the sense that it’s becoming a way of life.  Jackson documents the shameless and uncaring attitudes of soldiers, government officials and UN peacekeepers in their unwillingness to make major social changes in this country.  It’s appalling and yet I could not help but ask the question: What can we do?


Maudi Mukenge

Maudi Mukenge



            After the film, Maudi Mukenge, a native of Congo and the Africa Program Director for the Global Fund for Woman, led a Q&A session about the issues.  She said how she was “sick and tired” of how awareness is spreading but no action is taking place.  I agree with Mukenge in the sense that action needs to be done, but I also believe that awareness is a major factor that instigates action.  I went to this film because it was for an assignment.  I do not think I would have gone otherwise because I simple did not know about it.  The more people who know leads to collective action that might make a difference.


So to all my friends, family, and professors reading this post, I encourage you to watch this film.  It’s something that you will not forget.  

Film Web Site

Film Trailer

Helping Women Survivors of War




Dos Americas
February 28, 2009, 12:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last Thursday I went to annual USF Human Rights Film Festival and saw the film “Dos Americas: The Reconstruction of New Orleans.” This film is about the exploitation of Latinos during the post-Katrina reconstruction period. The film captures the accounts of illegal immigrants being cheated out wages and being abused by the INS. What I found interesting was that six months after the hurricane struck New Orleans, restrictions regarding legal status employment were lifted.

The Audience

After the film, there was a very interesting Q&A session that the audience actively participated in. Professors Ronald Sunstrom and Jorge Aquino as well as the director David Zlutnick took turns talking about the film. The speakers agreed that the film had a deadpan tone of low expectations.  The film accurately portrays the workers hopes and frustrations in working illegally in the U.S.

The director of the film David Zlutnick

The director of the film David Zlutnick

The Film Web Site

New Orleans’ Workers Center for Racial Justice