A Lot Like You

A Film by Eliaichi Kimaro

Breaking the Silence Through Art–part 1

March 10, 2013

My original intent for this blog was to create a space where we (the A.L.L.Y. team) could reflect on our evolving journey with this film, and hopefully invite readers to share their own ideas and experiences.  But lately, I feel this blog has lost its way because I just haven’t found the time to write.  Or so I thought.  

And then I realized that’s simply not true…I’m writing all the time.  With every speech or grant I write, I get the joy of rediscovering this film.  (That’s right. I’m re-purposing Journey.)  

Moving this film out into the world, we’re constantly exploring new opportunities to reach and engage with our audience.  And if what we’re learning along the way–about fundraising, marketing, distribution, outreach and community engagement– can be of benefit to some, then Dayenu! 

So in this renewed spirit of our blog…

I was invited to speak at API Chaya’s 18th Annual Candlelight Vigil this past week.  I prepared the following talk…but given time constraints, I abandoned my “script” early on and just spoke off the cuff–which worked surprisingly well!  But reading this over, there are a few ideas still worth sharing…


w/Manpreet Kaur Sandhu at API Chaya Vigil.
Photo by Derek Orbiso Dizon

Thoughts for the API Chaya Vigil
March 7, 2013
(Part 1)

How amazing to be here with you on the day that Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act into law.  It brings our gathering into focus by:

~ reaffirming our shared commitment to ensure that all people are able to live their lives with dignity and respect, free from violence and abuse, and

~ recognizing the power of story to mobilize our community and contribute to this groundswell that can lead to change.

I’m honored to be invited to participate in today’s vigil.  As an activist-turned filmmaker, I love that the theme this year — Breaking the Silence Through Art — invites us to consider the change that is possible when we allow our Art to be informed by our Activism, and vice versa.

So we’ve come together to say “We Remember”.  We remember the stories of Susana Blackwell, baby Kristine,  Phoebe Dizon & Veronica Laureta.  We remember the stories of those we love, and those we have lost to violence.  And we each carry our own stories — stories we’ve inherited, stories we’ve lived — that have brought us together today.  

We are all here because of our stories.  And without our stories, we are nothing.

API Vigil

When I think about my journey with this film, I’d like to explore the power of our stories to connect us–to ourselves and each other.  Because Connection is what this is all about.

Personally, I find connection through writing.  I show up in my journal (almost) every day. And in those pages, I dump out the contents of my brain…all my To Do lists, mundane observations, nagging regrets, frustrations, anxiety.  I get all this noise out of my head, down on the page.  And I let it go.  And this writing frees me up to go about my day feeling more open, more present, more aware.  

While this journal writing’s not my art, it is most definitely the means through which I’m able to access this vast well of Creativity that exists all around us.  In a sense, writing is how I pray.

I know we all have activities we do to unwind — running, cooking, photography, rearranging furniture.  It doesn’t have to be “Art” or “Creative.”  What I’m talking about here are the things we do to zone out and tune in.  Practices that heighten our senses, bringing us fully into the present moment, and leave us feeling more open to what life has to offer.  Think about what this practice is for you, and then hold onto it as we move through our conversation…

~ Click here for Part 2 (originally posted Sun 3/17) ~

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