Invisible Neighbors : Migrant Farm Workers Speak
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Storytelling is one of the oldest art forms for sharing wisdom and understanding the complexities of the world. Oral traditions such as storytelling are valued customs for passing knowledge from one generation to the next. For many marginalized groups, such as immigrants and Latinos, oration and storytelling remain central to preserving cultural traditions and knowledge within their communities.1 Such is the practice amongst many American migrant families when literacy is limited.2 And as the daughter of migrant farm workers, growing up with the stories of my parents and elders, storytelling has had a profound impact upon my being. It is a tradition I take very seriously. Documentary film both modernizes and captures the spirit of this tradition with its power to connect global audiences through knowledge. It is from these universal arts that the film “Invisible Neighbors” is derived. “Invisible Neighbors” utilizes the blending of audio, video, and music elements to expressively challenge traditional power structures by privileging a different, creative pedagogy. 3 Therefore, “Invisible Neighbors,” through the medium of documentary film, is a new way of conducting critical ethnography where the stories of people, community and culture are told through a different voice—that of the traditionally objectified and marginalized local, American farmer and migrant farm worker.