Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Support your Latina artist and play writer. If you are in the new York City area check out Death of A Dream. A Prolific play about domestic violence

Nancy Genova's The Death of a Dream written by a survivor of domestic violence Nancy Genova doesn't just focus on the violence in relationships but explores why victims stay. The play offers rare insights into the lives of couples where co-dependency, passion and obsessions overlap. Too quickly society has judged victims rather than viewing the situation from the victim's view. The play will be directed by Frank Perez Obie award winning director of El Cano (Repertorio Espanol). The story centers around three women from different lifestyles and professions who become victims of different forms of violence at the hands of different men.

The Death of a Dream examines how victims justify their perpetrators actions. It also describes the lives of men who grow up and victimize women. The play discusses; self-perceptions, economic status, gender roles, crisis with gender identification and the long lasting effect that the impact of trauma has on people's lives.

The four hour Latino in America documentary with CNN”s Soledad O’Brien is set to air this week. I had the pleasure of attending a prescreening at El Museo De Barrio in New York City this past Saturday (10-17-09). O’Brien was on hand for a Q & A session along with a 45 minute prescreening of the documentary. What I found fascinating is that a lot of people told the correspondent that the prescreening highlighted immigrations as dominate, “Latino Issue.” There were a lot of audience members critiquing the screen both good and bad. One person said that it doesn’t do justice for “us” Latinos. The panel discussion lead by Frances Negron-Muntaner, Director of the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University asked O’Brien, “What’s different about Latinos in America and Black in America?” The response was quick and savvy, she says Black in America has more a historical feel to it, Latino in America is introducing you to people’s stories.” One person in the audience said really so does that mean that Latinos don’t have history here in the U.S? Another point that I thought was interesting is whether this documentary is showcasing the Latino population a victims? She disagrees says once the full-length is show that the viewers will see that it’s not showing Latinos as victims but of working with the opportunities and obstacles put inform of them. “This shows immigration as our number one issues and I don’t think that is correct. O’Brien response saying that she feels it’s more of an “identity” issue that’s showcased in the piece. When she went on to explain it made sense to where you see several different stories where Latinos are assimilating and cultivating their culture. It sounds easy to do, but if you think about it interracial marriage is becoming more popular, so can that mean that the face of Latinos is changing as we know it? Identity as an issue. Take the time if you are a Latino bore and raised here or had crossed the border when you were five. What do you consider yourself and American first and Mexican second or are you a Mexican –American?

Checkout Latinos in America Wednesday and Thursday night on CNN at 9 PM eastern.

We want to know what your opinion was on the four hour long documentary
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chicago, IL ---Eszter Hargittai of Northwestern University in Chicago researched the transfer of real-world divisions to Facebook and MySpace.
``Existing social divisions translate online,'' said the associate professor in the Communications Studies Department. ``These sites are mainly used for hanging out with people you already know.''

Hargittai's research found there a difference by race, ethnicity and parental education in the United States as to who uses Facebook versus MySpace.

Hispanic students, for example, are more likely to use MySpace because that's where ``their friends hang out.''
Facebook, it seems, is for the more upwardly mobile. ``It's about who you know, what you're doing, where do you go, where were you on your holiday,'' said Shirley Steinberg, an expert in media literacy and popular culture at McGill University.

``Just the use of the words 'status update' has a middle-class implication.'' MySpace doesn't do any of that, said Steinberg, associate professor at McGill's Department of Integrated Studies in Education. ``Just the title, `MySpace,' itself implies that it's personal.''

She says MySpace users generally tend to be in their early teens up to the age of about 22, and the site is known for attracting musicians and artists and for letting its users be creative.

The same divisions don't exist in Canada, but that's more because MySpace has such a low profile north of the border.

``We are a Facebook country,'' said Rhonda McEwen, who teaches in the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto and specializes in new media and the information practices of young people.

It may be because Canadian academics who travelled to the United States started using Facebook and immigrants who came to large Canadian cities also were Facebook users, McEwen suggests. But by the time Canada caught on to social networking, MySpace was more for teenagers and not seen as serious.

Everyone from teens to grandparents in Canada uses Facebook, she says.
``The younger teens here don't know MySpace. They don't even recognize the term, which is really surprising to me, given how big it is in the United States.''

But for Americans, the lines are drawn and technology analyst Carmi Levy suggests no one should be surprised class division continues on the Internet because it's a mirror of society.

``The Internet is not nirvana,'' said Levy, senior vice-president of strategic consulting at Toronto's AR Communications Inc.

MySpace was started by a group of employees at an Internet marketing company called eUniverse in California in 2003, who were following the social networking group Friendster, which also featured indie music.

Facebook was started at Harvard University a year later. Initially it spread through other universities before going global and its users are generally older. The site is now more popular worldwide than MySpace.

Canadians may not have noticed, but MySpace remains less buttoned-down than Facebook, even though it's now owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which paid its founders US$580 million in 2005. Facebook has had many investors, but its CEO remains one of its founders, former Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg.

``In many cases, MySpace pages are absolutely unreadable riots of colour and font and form,'' said Levy.

``The artistic community, especially musicians, have really hung on to that and as a result have adopted MySpace as their prime platform and not Facebook.''

AP all the way

Arkansas has one of the nation's fastest growing Hispanic populations

Little Rock,AK ---Arkansas has one of the nation's fastest growing Hispanic populations and is home to an estimated 160,000 Hispanic people. Studies by the Pew Hispanic Center in 2007 concluded that about half of the state's immigrant population are living illegally in the U.S.
Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, had opposed the proposal last year because he said it would duplicate laws that are already on the books. Beebe spokesman Matt DeCample said the governor was likely to again oppose the measure if it was similar to last year's proposal.
``The governor's concern then was this would create bigger government and cost Arkansas taxpayers more money, which is two things we don't want to do,'' DeCample said.
Secure Arkansas earlier this year had opposed a measure in the Legislature that would have granted the children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates at Arkansas colleges and universities. The state Senate ultimately rejected the proposal, which had also faced opposition from Beebe and the state's higher education director.