The Listeners Project: Queremos Escucharte will present a free screening of the documentary film Protejiendo Nuestras Raíces: Un Proyecto de Salma Anguiano (Protecting Our Roots: A Salma Anguiano Project) on Saturday, May 7 at 4:30 p.m. at Gesa Power House Theatre.
Growing up in a migrant working community Salma Anguiana often saw many injustices and unsafe working conditions faced by people in her community. During her first year of college, Anguiana embarked on a journey to advocate for the community she grew up in. She formed Protejiendo Nuestras Raices, and began advocacy efforts to address the unsafe working conditions that people like her parents faced in the workplace. Through this effort she also hoped to create spaces for people in our communities to speak their truths. For so long, she saw people around her stay quiet due to fear. She wanted to end the cycle and bring light to the atrocities that occur in the workplace, in our own backyards.
Anguiano began collecting stories of farmworkers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It was oftentimes difficult to bring these stories—including many from undocumented workers—to a wider audience. Anguiano and her collaborators navigated these challenges by making the narrators in the film completely anonymous.
Artist statement from Salma Anguiano:
The people who often live in the shadows, people like my parents. People who have names, stories, feelings, and emotions. People who are often silenced or discouraged from speaking, were the people who I sought to elevate. Today I hope that their voices are projected in this space, the way they have asked for it, anonymously. The film is for my parents, for the Latinx community, and for the migrant and undocumented folk across the globe. I hope you all feel empowered.
A facilitated interview with Anguiano will precede a screening of Protejiendo Nuestras Raices. The audience will be given space to reflect on their experience during pauses throughout the thirty-minute screening. A Q&A session will follow the screening. A resource fair with complimentary refreshments follows at 5:30 p.m. with resource tables hosted by the WWIRC (Walla Walla Immigrant Rights Coalition) and the Blue Mountain Action Council.
This event is free and open to the public and is cosponsored by WWIRC, Colectivo de Arte Social, The Listeners Project: Queremos Escucharte, Whitman College and Northwest Archives, Associated Students of Whitman College, Project Pericles, Hernandez Immigration Law, LLC, Walla Walla Public Library, and Gesa Power House Theatre.
Gesa Power House Theatre is currently operating at full capacity, but will continue to follow the most recent guidance from state and county Departments of Health. Current health and safety guidelines at Gesa Power House Theatre are available online or by calling the box office.