May 24, 2002

Going Back to Where we Came From

Universal Press Syndicate columnists Patricia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez are proud to announce that last month, their own collaborative documentary work, “Going back to where we came from” (directed by George Ozuna), premiered at the Taos Talking Picture Festival. The work was triggered both by people constantly questioning the right of Mexicans/Chicanos to live in this country and by the coming to light of an 1847 map (attached to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo) that shows an “Antigua Residencia de los Aztecas” site in present-day Utah.

The documentary project came about as a result of the need to tell the story that will compliment their three forthcoming Aztlanahuac books that focus on geography, meaning and flor y canto. The work documents how that information came to light (during efforts by native peoples trying to fully understand the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo) — and how the Xicano youths and elders who received the map at that time have gone on to forge ties with the other original peoples of the continent.

The work examines older maps, chronicles and even indigenous codices that seem to show the Salt Lake region as the point of departure of the Aztec/Mexica peoples. Yet what they uncovered is much larger than one possible point of origin or departure. The documentary but scratches the surface of the many stories shared with them by elders throughout the continent which speak to the connections between the peoples of the north and the south. The stories affirm that we are where we came from... and that not only we belong, but that all peoples belong, wherever we find ourselves.

The documentary is now touring nationally and will be in San Diego at VOZ ALTA (917 E St. Downtown SD) on Sunday May 26, 2002 at 8pm. $7 ($5 students, seniors). Discussion and Q&A session with Roberto Rodriguez to follow.

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