The balloons represent migrants in flight. When people enter the Balloon Project Room they become aware of their own breathing and the breaths simulated by the Balloons. Next to the Breathing Balloons people sense the plight of the refugees. Occasionally a balloon or two will pop, which symbolize a loss of life. Inside the Balloon Room people and refugees are one in breath. The Balloon Project is a small branch of the river of revolution in protest of the current political administration.
Streaming over the ‘breathing’ balloons will be film clips from WMM films and a video by Yan Kong “Immigrants of the 21st Century in America”. The WMM film documentaries are selectively chosen to show various political situations around the world that people are facing today. They are: Exit: Leaving Extremism Behind, Don’t Tell Anyone, Maria in Nobody’s Land, Ni Aqui Ni Alla, A Revolution in Four Season; by filmmakers Karin Winther, Mikaela Shwer, Marcela Zamora Chamorro, Gabriela Bartolamedi co-produced by Mark Abramson, Jesse Deeter (in the films’ order). The WMM film stories and Kong’s video added a different perspective of the migrant crisis and how it had changed the lives of ordinary people and what people were facing in the current volatile political environment. Special thanks to WMM and the filmmakers Winther, Shwer, Chamorro, Bartolamedi, Abramson and Deeter. All films in the program of the Balloon Project except Yan Kong’s video production are courtesy of Women Make Movies. www.wmm.com
The Balloon Project Special Events schedule
AWA Gallery, 136 15th Street, Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, November 2, 2019 4 - 5:30 PM
Sarah Riggs, Celina Su, Asiya Wadud, Jianna Park willeach read from her poem collections. Sarah Riggs will collaborate with Elena Berriolo for Feed Me theLine - a sewing performance to spoken words.
Friday, October 25
7PM - A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME
Afghan filmmaker Sahra Mani, 2018
A THOUSAND GIRLS LIKE ME is an awe-inspiring vérité documentary about a young Afghan woman's brave fight to seek justice and protect her children after experiencing years of abuse at the hands of her father. In 2014, she appeared on national television to publicly accuse him, and became the first Afghan woman to bring a case of incest to court despite threats from her uncles and brothers and judges who labelled her a liar. In a country where the systematic abuse of girls is rarely discussed, Afghan filmmaker Sahra Mani's film tells a story of bravery, love, hope and resilience and sheds light on a broken judicial system and the women it seldom protects.
8PM - BIRTH ON THE BORDER
Ellie Lobovits, Mexico/USA, 2018, 28 min
This intimate and personal documentary follows two women from Ciudad Juárez as they cross the U.S.-Mexico border legally to give birth in Texas, putting their hearts and bodies on the line as they confront harassment at the hands of U.S. border officials. One million people legally cross the U.S.-Mexico border every day in both directions. Among them are women who cross for the purposes of childbirth. With the threat of obstetrical violence in Mexican hospitals and the desire for natural birth with midwives, Gaby and Luisa make the difficult decision to cross the border to El Paso, seeking a safer future for their children. Even with papers, their journeys are uncertain. Against the backdrop of oppressive U.S. border policy and growing debates over immigration, these women's stories of risk, strength, and resilience shed light on the realities and challenges of life on the border.
Friday, November 1
7PM - DEFIANT LIVES
Sarah Barton, Australia, 2018, 85 min
DEFIANT LIVES is a triumphant film that traces the origins of the world-wide disability rights movement. It tells the stories of the individuals who bravely put their lives on the line to create a better world where everyone is valued and can participate. Featuring interviews and rarely seen archival footage, the film reveals how these activists fought to live outside of institutions, challenged the stigmas and negative image of disability portrayed by the media, demanded access to public transportation, and battled to reframe disability rights as a social responsibility relevant to us all. DEFIANT LIVES is an excellent tool to encourage discussions about diversity and disability for students, audiences and community groups.
8PM - I AM THE REVOLUTION
A Portrait of Three Women in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq Leading the Fight for Gender Equality. Politician Selay Ghaffar is one of the most wanted people in the world by the Taliban and yet she still travels through Afghanistan to educate other women about their rights. Rojda Felat is a commander of the Syrian Democratic Army, leading 60,000 troops to defeat ISIS, including freeing their hold on Raqqa and rescuing its people. And Yanar Mohammed, named by the BBC as one of 100 most influential women in the world in 2018, pushes for parliamentary reform in Iraq while running shelters for abused women.
Despite battling seemingly overwhelming obstacles, all three women display resilience, bravery and compassion. I AM THE REVOLUTION challenges the images of veiled, silent women in the Middle East and instead reveals the extraordinary strength of women rising up on the front lines to claim their voice and their rights.