LAII Lecture Considers Migrant Lives at the Border

November 4, 2013

The UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) is pleased to announce the fifth presentation in its Fall 2013 Lecture Series: "Refusing Disposability: Collaboration and Representational Strategies in Maquilápolis: City of Factories" with Dr. Rebecca Schreiber, Associate Professor in the American Studies Department and faculty affiliate with the LAII. The presentation will be held Thursday, November 7, 2013, from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the LAII Conference Room. Please see the event flyer for reference.

Schreiber is the author of Cold War Exiles in Mexico: U.S. Dissidents and the Culture of Critical Resistance (University of Minnesota Press, 2008). Her current book project Migrant Lives and the Promise of Documentation examines contemporary immigration issues in the United States through forms of visual representation. Specifically, she explores how Mexican and Central American migrants have depicted themselves and their communities through documentary photography, film, and video since 9/11.

In her paper Schreiber discusses how Maquilápolis narrates a critique of the way in which women workers are positioned as "objects of labor" within the maquiladoras, while also challenging the conventions of documentary film. The film highlights the multinational corporations' treatment of women workers as "objects of labor" through the promotoras "performing" the monotonous movements from their workplaces. These staged performances also denaturalize more conventional documentary segments, including the video diaries, highlighting them as representational strategies. Funari, De La Torre and the promotoras thus disrupt the claims to self-representation as truth, instead positioning the video diaries, documentary and staged sequences each as representational strategies.