“Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?”: A Cape Verdean American Story
By Cecilia M. Orphan, National Manager, American Democracy Project
Many of you will remember documentary filmmaker Claire Andrade-Watkins who was a Featured Speaker at last year’s American Democracy Project National Meeting in Providence. Claire’s documentary “Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?”: A Cape Verdean American Story is the popular and critically acclaimed depiction of the Cape Verdeans in Fox Point, Providence and the first in a trilogy of documentaries about the Cape Verdean community. The documentary first aired on WSBE in May and July 2010. Those who participated in Claire’s session at the ADP Meeting found her documentary to be both thought provoking and inspiring. Please see below for a description of Claire’s talk.
Lessons Learned from Displacement: The Role of Documentary and “First Voice” Narrative in Rebuilding and Reconstituting a Community
The discussion focuses on communities displaced by urban renewal and gentrification. The presentation includes documentary clips, and begins with “Hi, Neighbor,” an imagined conversation between a little Cape Verdean girl and John N. Brown who were neighbors in the Fox Point section of Providence, Rhode Island. Told over photographs of her neighborhood, home and family, she wonders why John N. Brown still had his house and she didn’t.
Claire’s documentary brings much needed attention to this often forgotten group of people. This story is about the tragedy and scandal of urban renewal and gentrification that displaced generations of immigrants from the Cape Verde islands from their community in the Fox Point section of Providence, Rhode Island. Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican chronicles the history of the community up to the point of the destruction and displacement caused by urban renewal. Since the 2006 world premiere of SKFPR at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, the documentary has enjoyed a remarkable journey connecting audiences around the globe with the universal themes of immigration and displacement.
As part of her work with the documentary, she has launched an online fundraising initiative for completion funds for Atlantic Portals. A Kickstarter project was launched on Monday, March 21 to raise the post-production funds to complete ATLANTIC PORTALS. Kickstarter a new online fundraising tool for artists that directs people to the project page where donations can be made to the project. The goal of this fundraising initiative is to complete ATLANTIC PORTALS in time for the fall 2011 RI PBS/WSBE TV 36 line up and the October 2011 Cape Verde/world premiere at the Cape Verde International Film Festival on the island of Sal, Cape Verde.
To make a donation to the Cape Verdean project, please visit this website. All contributions through Kickstarter go to the 501c3 fiscal agent for ATLANTIC PORTALS and are tax-deductible. This is a 45-day campaign so please consider making a donation today!
If Claire’s work inspires you, I hope you will consider making a donation. I also encourage many of you to consider showing her documentary to students on campus. It can be used to frame a discussion about social justice, gentrification, and the importance of honoring diversity in a democracy.
Please see below for additional information about Claire and her inspiring work.
By Claire Andrade-Watkins, President, SPIA Media Productions, Inc.
We are excited to bring the project for these documentaries to this level: one broadcast, one in the can and ready for post-production and the third coming close behind with the successful completion of Atlantic Portals.
This journey from “Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?” to this point has been almost ten years, and I want to thank the dedicated group of friends, colleagues, supporters who have been there since day one, and to my wonderful friends/media professionals (editors, graphics, web, post-production, sound design) from across the country who have been working together on the series since the beginning-largely on a volunteer basis or at a dramatically reduced fee as well as generously pulling in their extended network of friends and colleagues. We are at this moment today because of you all.
P.S. the KICKSTARTER goal MUST be reached within 45 days!! Make your donation today!
For more information about Some Kind of Funny Porto Ricans, please visit this website.