Our own Ruxandra Guidi’s latest column for High Country News, on the US-MX border as a stage of political theater and why the Trump administration’s “deterrence” tactic that’s being used against undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers today is cruel and inhumane:


Photo by Bear Guerra

The Cecilia Vaisman Award for Multimedia Reporters will recognize Latinx and Hispanic audio and video journalists “who bring light to the issues that affect the Latinx and Hispanic communities in the U.S. and around the world,” according to Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

The award, sponsored by Medill and the the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, is named in honor of Homelands Productions’ co-founder and senior producer, who died in 2015 at age 54.

Cecilia, who was born in Argentina and raised in the United States, worked in long-form and short-form audio, video, and print. She taught in Medill’s audio program and was a beloved mentor and fierce advocate for young journalists.

Cecilia received many awards for her work, including the Clarion Award and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ Golden Reel Award, as well as two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards for reporting on the disadvantaged. A series she co-produced for NPR on AIDS in Brazil won her an Armstrong Award. In 2016, Cecilia was honored posthumously with a Studs Terkel Award from the Chicago-based organization Public Narrative.

Please click here for an obituary in the Chicago Tribune, and here for a brief audio tribute produced by WBEZ in Chicago. You can watch a video of a January 2016 memorial event at Medill by clicking here.

Homelands member Ruxandra Guidi has been named Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies 2018 Susan E. Tifft Fellow.

The award, now in its second year, offers a woman journalist or documentarian the opportunity to spend a week-long “creative residency” at the CDS, giving lectures, visiting with students, and participating in discussions about the evolution of journalism and documentary storytelling today.

For more information, please click here.

The traveling photo exhibit from Ruxandra Guidi and Bear Guerra’s year-long, multi-platform exploration of the lives of older adults in the heart of Los Angeles will open on Friday, October 6th, 2017 at the city’s Central Library.

The photos are part of “Going Gray in LA: Stories of Aging Along Broadway”, produced in collaboration with Los Angeles’s KCRW Public Radio, and with support from the Eisner Foundation. The exhibit will be in both first floor gallery spaces, from October 6, 2017-January 25, 2018.

For more information, please visit the library’s event page: http://www.lapl.org/whats-on/exhibits/going-gray-la-stories-aging-along-broadway

And for more about the project, please visit: http://curious.kcrw.com/category/going-gray-in-la/

Jaguar tracker

Biologist Miguel Gómez of the Northern Jaguar Project inspects a jaguar photo trap. Photo by McNair Evans/Pacific Standard.

In a major piece for Pacific Standard magazine, Homelands’ Alan Weisman goes deep into the wilderness of northern Mexico and southern Arizona on the trail of jaguars who venture across the border. The 300-pound cats are at the heart of a controversy over mining, conservation, and the Trump border wall.

Cat fight: Inside the struggle to save the latest migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border” describes the decades-old effort to preserve the jaguars’ northern habitat in the face of political, economic, and institutional obstacles. The struggle is becoming increasingly urgent as more jaguars are discovered farther north and plans to seal the border progress.

Activist Eduardo Guevara takes a picture inside Lawson Dump as smoke rises from a fire smoldering below ground. Although it was ordered closed in 2006, underground fires continued to burn for years afterward, and residents of nearby mobile home parks continued to complain about noxious odors and possible contamination. Photo by Roberto (Bear) Guerra.

For the last several years, Homelands’ Ruxandra Guidi and Bear Guerra have been visiting California’s Coachella Valley to document the environmental and health disasters there, from contaminated water to pesticide pollution to hazardous waste. Now, in a major piece for High Country News, they introduce us to Mexican and Central American immigrants who no longer want to be seen as victims.

Read Rux’s article and see Bear’s photos here.

El artículo también está disponible en español.

Youth march against DAPL

A group of youth demonstrators marching from Cannonball River to the Oceti Sakowin Campground. Photo by Jacqueline Keeler.

Sandy Tolan made five trips to North Dakota this past fall and winter to document the standoff between opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline and the pipeline’s supporters in government and business. As he reported on the conflict, he came to realize that the Standing Rock protests were part of a much larger story.

Facing declining demand at home, U.S. oil and gas companies are rushing to finish projects designed to strengthen their positions in world export markets. And everywhere they go, they are meeting resistance from indigenous groups and climate activists.

Sandy spent the last five months talking to politicians and oil company executives, who talk of making America “energy independent,” and activists all over the country worried about their land, their culture, and the future of the planet.

You can learn what he found out in a report for Reveal, “Fuels rush in: U.S. oil companies hurry to lay pipelines under Trump,” and in an 18-minute special report for Living on Earth, “Big plans for and against big oil.”

On April 9th, Bear and Rux’s year-long collaboration with LA’s KCRW – Going Gray in LA: Stories of Aging Along Broadway – will have a culminating event in Los Angeles that’s free and open to the public. They’ll be showing some of Bear’s photos from the project and will be joined by a few of the people featured in their stories on stage, to talk about aging in a big city built for the young.

The exhibit and conversation will take place on: April 9th, 2017, from 2-4 pm at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo.  (100 N. Central Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA, 90012)

For more information, and to RSVP, please use this link: http://events.kcrw.com/events/goinggraylive/

Please help us spread the word, and we hope to see you there!