Monday, October 26, 2015

Oscar Chapa reflect 1

As a first generation Latino from the Detroit area I am always excited to learn more about leaders in my community. This class seemed like the perfect opportunity to venture out and learn more about the people who contributed greatly to social justice reform but are not specifically mentioned in our history books. Before this class I would search for the history of the "Mexican town area" I grew up in- to only find very little information. I really seek to learn more about what the word "Chicano/a" means, how I fit into this history, and to take what I learn and educate those around me. We tend to forget that our history as Latino people is not concentrated in certain areas of the country, as people we have bounded together for justice and the chicanas behind these movements deserve our attention. History deserves to be uncovered so that we do better. It's a scary thing to enter a class that talks about a topic like Chicana feminism, because truth is- this isn't talked about almost anywhere. It's a topic that I personally know very little about, but I am eager to open my mind and learn. I unfortunately am not familiar with any Chicana activists in politics. It's sad to say, but most of my life the Latino figures I have been taught to look up to have been male war heroes. I also don't know the time span that most Chicana feminism touches upon. Most feminism that I am familiar with revolves around pop culture, sexual rebellion, and the freeing of self through actions that many consider taboo (as extreme as an artist using her own period blood for a portrait to combat male to privilege). In many of the articles I read on this topic, feminism, is unfortunately divided by race and white feminism has received a lot of criticism for ignoring race as an issue in women's rights. This was most publically displayed at the video music awards when a black female artist confronted a white female artist to "check her privilege". It's especially interesting to dive into feminism in Latino culture, because classes I have taken in the past focus so much on machismo as a staple of Latino culture. I am hopeful that the word feminism will take on a new, even more powerful meaning. I am excited to make new friends and to be an active part of our class. Most importantly I am eager to challenge the history I had been presented in exchange for a more wholesome, inclusive, and true history.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Ramiro's Mini Oral History

Ramiro Alvarez was chosen by our group to participate in a trial run of an oral history recording. We interviewed Ramiro about his first encounters with racism and his early life. Along this process, as group we learned that the process of recording the interview is a sensitive one. Subtle changes in light, white balance, and angles really can improve the feeling of an interview. Another point of learning we encountered had to do with our audio: editing out background noise and enhancing voices digitally isn't as good as making sure that not even a single phone vibrates, any papers are shuffled in the background, or any walking really. The camera work itself was smooth for our group and good thing it was. Right before we started editing...we realized the record button wasn't on during our best take. Left with nothing but bloopers, the team quickly sprang into action and redid the whole thing.

Potential logo designs for ARISE, the first organization Ramiro co-founded

Ramiro's Diversity Peer Educator journal to the Hall Director they worked under.

Table of contents page to a Spanish language Trans Oral History report

Camera Settings & Example Production Schedule

Hi All,

Marie took some pictures of the camera settings during training, so I've added them for us all here:

We've also completed our production schedule and are excited to interview Ana Cardona tomorrow morning, I've copied it here:

Production Schedule: Ana Luisa Cardona

Date: Saturday, October 24, 2015
Time: 10:00 AM
Production location: Home of Ana Cardona, 1243 Daisy Lane, East Lansing, MI 48823
Interviewee: Ana Cardona
Interviewee Contact Information: (517) 575-8226
Production Crew:
Maria Cotera—Professor/Project Coordinator/Interviewer
Blake Ebright—Production Manager/Data Wrangler/Slate/Tape Log/Event Recorder
Marie Dillivan—Data Wrangler/Cameraperson/Videographer
Contact Information:
  • Maria Cotera: (734) 834-7306
  • Blake Ebright: (301) 272-5432
  • Marie Dillivan (231) 750-3245
Filming Schedule:
  • Production crew will arrive at 1243 Daisy Lane at 10:00 AM to set up the equipment. Blake and Marie will also look at any archival materials present.
  • 11:00 AM, filming is set to begin, with Maria Cotera leading the interview.
  • Filming should end at around 2:00 pm, at which point we will begin to pack up the camera equipment.
  • Blake and Marie will continue choosing and scanning archival materials after the interview while tearing down the equipment.
  • All equipment must be accounted for before departure.
Additional Tasks/Notes:
To our knowledge, no one has a set time they need to leave, so once the interview is over, we will begin scanning some of Ana’s documents.
Equipment List
From ISS-Medial Lab:
Panasonic AGAC-160
Miller Tripod
Sennheiser Shotgun Microphone
Wired Lavalier Microphone
Two XLR cables (one 1’ for the shotgun, one 10’ for the lav)
Zoom H4n (used as backup)
Soft Box light kit
Memory card reader

Iguana (Group hard drive)
Still camera/phone
Extension cord and power strip
Laptops with scanner software
Clear plastic sheet for photographing large sized documents
550 Scanner
Coin (to use for camera set up)
Notepads for tape log
Cardboard box and acid free folders
Craft services: fruit, veggies, water, etc.
  • Production schedule
  • Tape Log


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Shirley's Oral History

For our Oral History Test Run, our group chose to interview Shirley Rivas about her journey to the University of Michigan. Setting up our test run went remarkably well. We did run into some issues getting authorized to rent out the camera for our test run and the actual interview, but luckily, we were able to get the authorization overridden. For our test run, Katelynn rented out the equipment and walked Shirley through how to set up the equipment because she missed our media training center at the ISS Media Lab. Taylor filmed the interview, while Katelynn was the interviewer. Shirley was able to download a film slate app on her phone to help with the organization of the different clips. Our test run was completed in just three takes. We had to pause after the first take because Shirley wanted to have a better scope of the questions, while the second time we stopped due to equipment issues with the camera. The timestamp feature on the camera screen was not working. Fortunately, we had someone from the ISS Media Center help us out.

As a result of our test run, our group realized several key issues relevant to the success of our actual interview with Ms. Juana Gonzalez. Taylor realized how careful we need to be in saving our interviews in 2 or 3 different places to make sure we do not lose anything. Our group made sure to upload our test run interview to our external hard drive, Katelynn’s personal computer, and it was shared via Google Drive to Taylor and Shirley. Taylor also realized how long it actually takes to set up all the equipment necessary for our interview. Another concern that we encountered during our test run was just realizing how much care goes into the filming of an interview. We realized we had to silence our phones, make sure the camera was working properly, make sure the framing was okay, while still remembering everything we learned during our workshop at the ISS Media Center. We realized that even though a lot of care does go into filming, you can plan ahead to reduce your anxiety over some of these concerns.

Taylor Davidson, Katelynn Dreeze, Shirley Rivas

Blake's Mini Oral History

Here's our mini oral history of Blake and filmed by Marie! We also have some objects from Blake's archive, and we think everything went pretty well overall. Although we did have a data scare with our clip, and the scanner takes some getting used to. Below is the link to our video on youtube.