Slanguage, excerpt from “Actions Speak Louder Than Talk: Superheroes,” 2013. To kick off the first lesson in an educational video series, Slanguage members Mario Ybarra Jr. and Karla Díaz introduce their secret superhero identities, the Magic Mariachi and el Cocodrilo Verde (the Green Crocodile).
“Actions Speak Louder Than Talk: Superheroes” is the first instructional episode in a year-long, youth-driven art initiative meant to engage bilingual students and teachers in cross-border conversations about identity, community and action. The videos have been used by eight high schools in El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico as catalysts for dialogue about the violence that has ruptured both border towns as a result of the drug-cartel violence. The title of the project is taken from a fortune cookie, which, in its clumsy translation, addresses what is lost and what is found in the gap between cultures, languages and places.
In this episode, filmed at the Slanguage Studio and on location in Wilmington, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, we guide students through a lesson on how to make their own superheroes. Following this, Slanguage members Betty Marin, Antonio De Jesus Lopez and Emilio Venegas Jr. interview the community members who are their superheroes. The video is a glimpse into how we playfully engage communities, using art as a tool to create powerful dialogues.
Slanguage, excerpt from “Actions Speak Louder Than Talk: Superheroes,” 2013. Slanguage member Betty Marin interviews her father Aurelio Marin, one of San Pedro, California’s community superheroes. Aurelio maintains a community garden and shares his harvest with friends and neighbors.
Slanguage, excerpt from “Actions Speak Louder Than Talk: Superheroes,” 2013. Arnoldo Vargas, a public high school photography teacher in Los Angeles, tells Slanguage artist Antonio de Jesus Lopez about the photography teacher who inspired him to become an artist and teacher.
Slanguage, excerpt from “Actions Speak Louder Than Talk: Superheroes,” 2013. Emilio Venegas Jr. interviews community hero and longshore woman Lorie Garcia, who worked as a drug and alcohol counselor for over 20 years prior to her new job. After this final interview, Mario and Karla return with a final message: “It’s your turn to find a superhero in your community!”