By Victor Payan
Since its inception at the beginning of the 20th Century, International Women’s Day has been a marker for honoring the heroic victories of women around the world in fighting injustice, challenging unjust governments and securing fundamental rights for themselves and their families.
At no time are these hard-won advances in health, education, labor and civil rights more fragile, however, than during a time of a war. Often it is women who bear the hardest burden when devastation rains down on local communities. It is they who are left to pick up the pieces, and in their coming together, there is the strength to start rebuilding, to tell the stories and to remember.
In the spirit of recognizing the unsung Latina heroines who keep their communities alive, Consuelo Manriquez, co-owner of San Diego’s celebrated Calaca Press, began organizing the annual International Women’s Day/Dia De la Mujer Celebration in 1999.
This year’s celebration features a moving documentary, poetry readings and culminates with a rocking performance by the popular New York band Pistolera.
The event begins at 4:30 pm with a screening of the award-winning documentary Testimony: The Maria Guardado Story.
This acclaimed film tells the story of Maria Guardado, a Salvadoran woman who survived torture in the 1980s and became a civil rights activist in Los Angeles. Maria Guardado and director Randy Vasquez will be in attendance for a Q&A.
The film will be followed at 6pm with powerful poetry and performance from Sara R. Eslava, Olga A. Garcia Echevarria from Los Angeles, singer/songwriter Pearl and City College’s own Maria Figueroa.
Manriquez, whose birthday falls only a few days from the March 8 celebration, also regarded it as a way to honor her father, who passed away that same year.
“I could not see myself celebrating a birthday with out him,” says Manriquez,” so I called upon the women in my life to start celebrating Día de la Mujer as my birthday. I had a dinner with 40 women from ages three months to 65 years. After that year, we started a public celebration with poets, singers and dancers.”
The New York sensation Pistolera, led by San Diego-native Sandra Velasquez, will take the stage at 8pm. Their feisty Latino indie-rock combines empowering lyrics with danceable accordion-driven vallenato and cumbia melodies. The celebration will also feature vendors and refreshments.
This year’s event, which is organized by Red CalacArts Collective in conjunction with the City College World Cultures Program, takes place Friday, March 9 at the Saville Theater, located at 14th and C St. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 4:30 pm. For more information, email email@example.com or call (619) 434-9036.
Gangs: Where Are We? The final forum on a four part seminar, hosted by the Catfish Club, will engage attendees in the impact of gangs on the San Diego community. This event will be held at the Hall of Champions (2131 Pan American Plaza) in Balboa Park on Saturday, March 9, at 12 p.m. For more info, or to RSVP, call 619-266-7278.
As part of SDSU’s Center for Latin American Studies, the acclaimed author Juan Felipe Herrera will visit the SDSU campus on Wednesday, March 14, at Smith Recital Hall. He is of the books Downtown Boy, Super Cilantro Girl and Crashboomlove. He will deliver a public talk called “From Logan Heights to the Heights of the Word.”
The 14th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival begins Thursday, March 8, to Sunday, March 18. Organized by the Media Arts Center San Diego, films by Latin American directors will be featured on the silk screen at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas (7510 Hazard Center Dr).
Expressions of Mexico Gallery is proud to invite you to Oaxaca’s Plastic Festival from February 17 to March 17, featuring: Takeda, Matus, Israel Nazario, Ixrael Montes, Rodolfo Morales and many more. The gallery is located at 1122 Cesar E. Chavez Parkway in Barrio Logan. Gallery hours are Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12 to 6 p.m. For more info, call 619-232-1699 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out how to confront racial injustice against migrant workers every Wednesday at 7 p.m. with activist group, The Friends of Day Laborers. Meetings are held at Activist Center (4246 Wightman Street). For info, call 619-528-8383.
Come get your funny on with one of the most hilarious comedy troupes in San Diego, Slip of the Tongue, presented by Emily Calabrese. It’s an edgy improve group with diverse backgrounds and a twisted sense of humor. They allow the audience to set the scene, from kid friendly to outrageous. Hold on to your hats at the Arts and Entertainment Center (3026 University Avenue) next Friday, March 16, at 7:30 p.m.