imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news



CopWatch LA


A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Isabel Avila's "Parallel Worlds" at the Vincent Price Art Museum

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

In her first solo exhibit, photographer (and contributor to LA IndyMedia) Isabel Avila explores the dual identities of Native American and Mexican American cultures, emphasizing people active in their communities. Avila's photographs, taken over the last few years, are complimented by video discussions, many featuring her photo subjects but also additional people, including Gloria Arellanes, one of the early Brown Berets and member of the Tongva community. (Excerpts of these dialogs can be found further down in this article.) The free exhibit is currently at the Vincent Price Museum through December 8. It will then then relocate to Rancho Cucamonga's Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art and run from January 22 – March 16, 2013. (Location details within the article.)

Isabel Avila's "...
avilacahuilla300.jpg, image/jpeg, 1490x1500

(Pictured above: Cahuilla Red Elk, Lakota-Cahuilla Agua Caliente Band.)

In her first solo exhibit, photographer (and contributor to LA IndyMedia) Isabel Avila explores the dual identities of Native American and Mexican American omega seamaster replica watches cultures, emphasizing people active in their communities. Avila's photographs, taken over the last few years, are complimented by video discussions, many featuring her photo subjects but also additional people, including Gloria Arellanes, one of the early Brown Berets and member of the Tongva community. (Excerpts of these dialogs can be found further down in this article.)

"Through video dialogue and portraiture, the museum goers are not just given facts to go away with but are also left to make their own connections with this subject matter in their own lives," Avila explained. She added, in regards to her photographs, that “these are large scale color photographs, and I'm a photographer that still uses medium format film and shoots with a Hasselblad.

“. . . I'm also cooperating with my subjects in these portraits, and the videos bring the subjects to life by including not only what they look like but how they think and feel about issues which is a method for presenting my work from a perspective of Indigenous subjectivity not objectivity.”

The free exhibit is currently at the Vincent Price Museum (HOY Space, third floor, on the campus of East LA Community College) through December 8. More here. It will then then relocate to Rancho Cucamonga's Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art (as part of a larger exhibition called The New World. See: and run from January 22 – March 16, 2013.

A few of Avila's photographic subjects include:

*Cahuilla Red Elk (Lakota-Cahuilla Agua Caliente Band), attorney for The Center of Human Rights & American Indian Law (retired) and a member of AIM (American Indian Movement), Los Angeles Chapter, during the Wounded Knee Occupation.

*Alfred Cruz, Sr. (Acjachemen), who is pictured at an awareness-building demonstration (which occurs almost every month), concerning the threatened sacred site at Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach. More about the site in this short 2009 video. As described in the exhibit:

Bolsa Chica is a 9,000 year old village, cemetery, and ceremonial site that is the oldest prehistoric village in Orange County. The descendants of the Tongva (Gabrielino) and the Acjachemen (Juaneno) consider this site to be the place of their ancestors and a sacred ceremonial site. To date, over 178 human remains, over 100,000 artifacts, semi-subterranean house pits, and numerous cogged stones have been excavated. Developers like the California Coastal Communities Company have illegally dug up graves and artifacts to create multi million dollar developments.

*Noel Vargas Hernandez, a Oaxacan artist from an indigenous Zapotec village, whose print work has appeared at Self Help Graphics.

*Maynor, a day laborer from Honduras. Originally an engineer, he was forced to leave his family and migrate to the U.S. due to lack of jobs. He is trying to earn enough money to return home.

Below are transcript excerpts of the video interviews.

Virginia Carmelo

“My name is Virginia Carmelo, I am a Gabrielino-Tongva. Those are the original peoples from the Los Angeles area. I'm a former tribal chairperson, I'm a mother of six adult children, and grandmother to seven grandchildren. When I was in college I became involved with MEChA on the campus that I went to, which was Cal State Fullerton. One of the gucci replica watches things that we did initially was go out and recruit, from the 22 Orange County barrios, students to come into the EOP [Educational Opportunity Program]. We also became involved in different events that were happening in the community. We had a community center right here which I now work at. It's been here since that time, the early '70s. It is a direct result of the Chicano Movement—people got together, neighbors got together and wanted a community center. We were supported by MEChistAs from Cal State Fullerton and community members. It's gone through some changes, but it's still there serving the community.

“In the Chicano communities we were trying to get away from 'Mexican' because we really didn't really identify with Mexican. Mexican was somebody who's from Mexico, and none of us were, even though we sometimes had great grandparents or grandparents from Mexico.

“We wanted the rights and the abilities to, for instance, take advantage of education like other people.

“So we realized that we were a product of different cultures. Along with that went the concept of being native to the lands, in other words, not being foreign as were the people who established this country 200 years ago. I was even more conscious of that because I wasn't from someplace else. My family was always from the areas around here [Orange County], areas near the rivers.”

Gloria Arellanes

“I have been an activist since the late '60s to the present. I started in the Chicano Movement, and presently I am an elder and grandmother of the Gabrielino-Tongva tribe, the local tribe to Los Angeles.

“I stayed away [from the Chicano/a Movement] for 20 years. I was called back to a Moratorium meeting; I went to that reunion. I love seeing people from the past. It was really, really nice. And then I got called [in] the next 20 years for the commemorative with Rosalio [Munoz]. He actually helped me to accept my own personal history. I was denying it all this time, not denying it but saying, 'I don't want to be a part of it; I'm different; I'm in the Tongva community now; I am a Native woman; I am an elder; I go to these grandmother gatherings, and I'm recognized internationally now with other grandmothers; and I know my culture; I'm learning my language; I have my regalia. This is me now.' But in all the beauty of that—and I love my Tongva culture(1)--when I go back to the Chicano community, I miss that community and the people that I had worked with. So I am not so easy to say: 'No, no, I am not part of that. No, no, that was way back then.' I now say, 'Yes, that is my history, that is part of me.' I can't deny that.

“. . . So I'm starting to feel more comfortable going with the Chicano community. In fact, Rosalio took a picture of four of us Brown Berets from way back then, and he [labeled it] 'Gloria Arellanes – Chicana, Tongva, grandmother, elder.' He used those words. And somebody else recently referred to me as a Chicana-Tongva, and I'm comfortable with that. I'm comfortable in the fact that I can go to the Chicano community and relate.

“. . . All the things we fought for, all the things that people got arrested for, got beaten up for, some people even died for what they believed in—it's all coming back again. They're losing their education, it's getting to where you won't be able to afford it; health issues are bad; housing is bad. Everything that we fought for has been undone.

“It's a different time: we're seeing more diversity in the community. There's Salvadorans, there's different people from different [areas].

“I'm seeing this transition--where it was Chicanos, I'm seeing that people are now going back to their indigenous roots, and they're practicing their traditional form of religion and prayer. “

(Arellanes adds that she sees a strong need for dialog in the brown community regarding Aztlan and other cultures, including her own Tongva.)

Cahuilla Red Elk

“If you're going to be involved in activism, you have to make sure that your spirituality and that your point of reference is always to our ancestors. They are the ones who initiated the practice for us. That's the stronghold. It's very, very simple, and it's very clear, but the hard part is doing the balance in the two worlds. There can be and there are other methods on how to present issues without the cost of having to be caught up in the institutions, in the prisons, and in the courts, and with people and governments whose agenda is to remove us, do away with us.

“The method that has to be used is a collective effort, that we have to go together as the Indian Nation --not Indian Nations. We already tried Indian Nations—we have to go as one nation, as indigenous people.

“. . . I would like to see history be part of integrity, of how it presents itself, of how people tell stories. I was just in a place a couple days ago, and in this museum there was all these explanations about all these cultures or religious groups that were being attacked or had been attacked, but there was nothing about my people. And in the very place where the building sat, I know a story about:

“I know a story that my people from the desert came to Los Angeles—it was a hub, a trade center. We would go out to the ocean and trade our goods with the people at what now is known as Catalina. All the people would come together. Why did they come to this particular region, to Los Angeles? Well, L.A. And this particular area here is one of the meridians of migration for the eagle, not particularly L.A. or downtown L.A., but it's one of the meridians. The Meridians look like a hand: they come from the north, and they go this way, and this way, and this way... [uses as visual reference her hand and fingers]. Santa Barbara is known as the Western Gate. If you talk to any person that's from that region, from Santa Ynez Reservation, they'll tell you: that's the Western Gate. And then you have the L.A. Area, and then you have the Laguna area, and you have [the meridian] down by Doheny, and then you have another meridian which is the Gulf of Mexico. . . . And these are where the eagles go. . . . and our people knew this instinctively. I come from the Bird People here in California.

“So they watched all of these signs. We've lived by watching the signs. We didn't have newspapers--we communicated through trading baskets and pottery.”


(1)On the subject of the Tongva, Arellanes further commented: “and I'm part of the Ti'at Society, and we're a maritime culture, and we have a canoe, and we haven't crossed the ocean yet, but we've gone around Catalina. Four of those Channel Islands were our lands. David Sanchez and the Brown Berets reclaimed it [Catalina] for Mexico—no, it is Tongva land. We called it Pimu. That's were we would wait for the redwoods to wash down the ocean, and we built our ti'ats with them. We've re-enacted it—it hasn't been done in over 200 years. The culture is just absolutely beautiful.”

Report this post as:

Alfred Cruz protesting development on a sacred site

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Alfred Cruz protesti...
avilaalfred300.jpg, image/jpeg, 1499x1500

There is a demonstration at Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach almost every month. This short video, made in 2009, describes the site: Photo by Isabel Avila.

Report this post as:

Noel Vargas Hernandez (Oaxacan artist)

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Noel Vargas Hernande...
avilanoel300.jpg, image/jpeg, 1500x1518

Photo by Isabel Avila.

Report this post as:

Part of the gallery and displays

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Part of the gallery ...
avilaexhibit.jpg, image/jpeg, 2250x1500

Report this post as:

Exhibit: Parallel Worlds

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Exhibit: Parallel Wo...
avilaexhibit2.jpg, image/jpeg, 2112x1425

The closest picture is of Virginia Carmelo, a Gabrielino-Tongva, grandmother, and long-time activist.

Report this post as:

Parallel Worlds by Isabel Avila

by Ross Plesset Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Parallel Worlds by I...
avilaexhibit3.jpg, image/jpeg, 1800x1200

At left: One of the video presentations. This one features Lazaro Arvizu, Jr., son of Virginia Carmelo and a renowned artist of the same name. Right: A picture of shell middens at the endangered sacred site Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach

Report this post as:

Local News

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

Last of California's nuclear power plants is on its way out J30 3:44PM

Patrisse Khan-Cullors explains why Black Lives Matter J26 7:02PM

Women's March L.A., 2018 J24 4:39PM

The case for US government sanctions on Israel J23 5:36PM

 Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump Photoset 4 J22 9:07PM

Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump Photoset 3 J22 8:24PM

Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump PhotoSet 2 J22 7:36PM

Women of LA Rise Again to Denounce Trump PhotoSet 1 J22 7:14PM

Women's Political Representation & Electoral Reform J21 12:43PM

Trial Starts for Woman with Erb’s Palsy Punched in Face Repeatedly by LAPD Officers J10 1:38PM

Dear District Attorney Jackie Lacey, Prosecute Killer Cops, Signed: Your Constituents J09 10:09PM

Great solidarity action today J06 10:22PM

Chris Ballew beat up by Pasadena police J05 5:01PM

Retired LAPD Sgt. Cheryl Dorsey explains how the LAPD's Board of Rights hearings work J05 3:40PM

An Ex-Cop Talks About Police Shootings J05 3:39PM

Do Nukes Kill? J02 4:40PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

The Shortwave Report 02/23/18 Listen Globally! F22 5:03PM

Hero Hunters Cheat - Guide - Tips to Win F22 12:57PM

Paraphysique de l'anaphore F21 11:14PM

“Lost in a Dream” Karaoke Competition Promises $20,000 Prize! F21 10:43AM

NYPD Case Calls Attention to 'Consent Defense' That Can Be Used by Officers Accused of Rap F20 11:59PM

Hero Hunters Hack - Get Unlimited Bucks and Gold F20 3:27PM

Our Beneficial River Jordan F20 11:43AM

State Investments and the Public Sector F20 6:13AM

Apprentissage irrémissible F19 11:12PM

Sauve-qui-peut du gâchis F18 12:09AM

Talon de fer F17 1:50AM

The Shortwave Report 02/16/18 Listen Globally! F15 4:24PM

The judiciary could force America to solve the homeless crisis F15 9:56AM

The torrefied pellet plant will not be built on the Limousin mountain! F15 6:19AM

Endf Russophobia! Time for a New Detente Policy F15 4:27AM

Paraphysique du catastrophisme F14 11:22PM

Baltimore police union balks at policy requiring officers to pay some legal damages themse F14 6:19PM

Researching Islamic Terrorism in Europe. F14 5:08PM

Asian American Stereotypes in Media F14 2:33PM

La diversité clonée F14 1:59AM

Forever Fierce Day F13 3:18AM

A l'époque du spectaculaire concentré et diffus ( Hommage à feu Michel Noury ) F12 10:34PM

Zombie Capitalism F12 4:07AM

L'empathie amputée F11 3:42PM

Paraphysique de l'argent F11 1:59AM

gerrymandering by republicans F09 8:41PM

New Law Provides Disaster Relief and Medicaid Funds for Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands F09 8:10AM

The Shortwave Report 02/09/18 Listen Globally! F08 4:08PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy