Visual Communications and the Dawn of Asian Pacific American Cinema
Los Angeles Filmforum, Visual Communications, the Japanese American National Museum, and the Downtown Independent present: Visual Communications and the Dawn of Asian Pacific American Cinema
In the course of media art in Los Angeles, the late 1960s and 1970s brought a rise in the possibilities of media access for minority groups that generally did not have access to the tools of cinema or control of how they were presented in mass media. Much of this critical work came out of the EthnoCommunications program at UCLA, formed in 1968, which worked to bring in African American, Asian American, Chicano, and Native American students. The remarkable work of the African American students is the focus of the L.A. Rebellion series at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, also part of Pacific Standard Time. This program highlights the documentary-focused early years of Visual Communications (VC), an organization created by a group of visionary Asian American filmmakers, educators, and activists from the EthnoCommunications program.
VC's founders Duane Kubo, Robert Nakamura, Alan Ohashi, and Eddie Wong incorporated the organization in 1970 on the heels of a groundbreaking photographic exhibition about Japanese American internment assembled by Nakamura and Ohashi entitled "America's Concentration Camps." (The modular exhibit, popularly referred to as "The Cubes Exhibit," is currently on display at the Japanese American National Museum as part of their show "Drawing the Line: Japanese American Art, Design & Activism in Post-War Los Angeles.") The foursome envisioned Visual Communications as a filmmakers' collective that sought to re-represent the history and culture of Asian Pacific Americans, use media for social change, and train future generations of Asian Pacific American filmmakers. The first such organization in the United States, VC continues to engage in community-based filmmaking through training, education and filmmaker support initiatives, public screening and exhibitions programs including the annual Los Angeles Asian-Pacific Film Festival, and film/video preservation activities. VC is also home to one of the largest repositories of photographic and moving image archives on the Asian Pacific experience in America. http://www.vconline.org/
In person: Robert Nakamura, Eddie Wong, Duane Kubo, and Alan Kondo!
Co-presented by the Japanese American National Museum http://www.janm.org/
Downtown Independent (View)
251 South Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012