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Asian American Studies 197A
Winter Quarter 2002

Visual Communications L.A. Labor Documentary Project

Our class will be helping Visual Communications — the nation’s oldest Asian Pacific American independent film and video community organization — to develop a video documentary on Asian Pacific American labor struggles in the Los Angeles area. The project, entitled "In Pursuit of Justice, Equality and Dignity: The Asian Pacific Labor Movement in Los Angeles," is coordinated by Leslie Ito, a graduate of the UCLA Asian American Studies masters’ programs. Our class will be helping Visual Communications with the initial phase of this project: research of historical and current Asian Pacific American community-based labor struggles.

The short-term goals for the Visual Communications project include:

  • Drawing out the concerns and activities within the Los Angeles labor movement that will be explored in the documentary through the working group meetings;
  • Preserving the lives and experiences of workers and labor activists and organizers through oral histories;
  • Creating group dialogue around labor issues facing Asian Pacific Americans through the community forum and working group meetings.
  • Bringing awareness, interaction and exchange to the Asian Pacific community through the presentation of the video vignettes and the video documentary;
  • Building a coalition of artists, community members and activists, workers and organizers.

The long-term goals for the Visual Communications project include:

  • Empowering community activists and artists to utilize digital video and new technologies as a communications tool to generate interactive exchange, greater community participation, and advocacy efforts surrounding community labor issues;
  • Educating the Asian Pacific American community and the general public about the rich labor history in Los Angeles and the current campaigns that are being fought in our communities;
  • Providing opportunities for the Asian Pacific community’s talented, socially-
    conscious media artists to collaborate with community organizations in the production and presentation of videos which address important community issues.









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