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Los Angeles, California: Chicano/a Art, Literature and Film

Genaro Padilla, University of California Berkeley

Los Angeles--or L.A., as it is usually referred to in Hollywood-- has the largest Mexican/Chicano population outside of Mexico City. Nonetheless, Chicanos remain peripheral, at best misprepresented in the arts and media, at worst invisible altogether.  As an American Studies scholar who regularly teaches  courses on place, I often focus on Los Angeles--precisely as a site for Chicano/a art, literature and film.  In this session, I will consider  the work of  painter and performance artist Patssi Valdez, writer Luis Rodriguez, and filmmaker Patricia Cardoso, in order to think about how such artists shape representations that countermand conventional and cliched images of Mexican origin people as gangbangers, drug-dealers and service workers with little intellectual inclination. Basic technology available, I will show images of  Valdez's painting and street theater, short clips and/or stills from Cardoso'film Real Women Have Curves and perhaps can send a short story by Rodriguez in pdf to the conference participants in advance of the meeting. I would like to have a conversation.

John F. Kennedy Institute