Friday, June 20, 2008
Read This Book. Watch This Film.
A few weeks ago I went to a panel on immigrations at Ink Spot here in San Diego. The panel was to discuss and promote the McSweeney's new book from the Voice of Witness series called Underground America: Narratives of Undocumented Lives. This book, the stories told in it are so incredibly wrenching and moving that I have had a hard time reading it daily. After each narrative I find myself outraged, or crying over the cruel injustices suffered by the hard-working men and women sacrificing their lives in attempts to improve their economic situations. The stories are individuals who are victims of human rights atrocities at the hands of people who are employing them. Stories of systematic abuse and depravation. These stories are are absolutely necessary. Too often immigration debates center around faceless numbers and statistics. This collection of stories humanizes the often invisible struggle playing out around us. I bought several copies of the book and have given them all away.
On the panel was Laura Castañeda, speaking on her documentary The Devil's Breath, on the October 2007 wildfires and the untold stories of a group of migrants caught in the middle. Please please please, as difficult as it is, please watch this when you have a chance.