Wendy Carrillo

Observations on culture, politics, travel, lifestyle, dating and anything Latino. @wendycarrillo

Posts Tagged ‘culture

Halloween 2013: White People be like, “I’m not a racist!” :)

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Oh white people. I really don’t even know what to say.

Angry Asian Man brings us these three white guys who decided to dress up as Asiana flight attendants – a flight crew from a plane crash in San Francisco where people died and a newscast named the crew, “Ho Lee Fuk,” “Sum Ting Wong” and “Wi Tu Lo.”

Colorlines brings us these white people who dressed up as a Blackface bloody Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, because well, Blackface is so cool and so not racist! #Smileyface!

And lastly, E! brings us this white girl – actress Julianne Hough, who put on Blackface because well, the 19th Century is back she loves Orange is the New Black.

She’s apologized:
I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize.

YEY! Post racial America is so awesome.

Written by wc

October 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” by Aloe Blacc Supports Immigration Reform!

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Aloe Black Wake Me UpBono said it best when he said, “Music can change the world because it can change people.” In a newly released video version of Avicii’s 2013 mega hit, “Wake Me Up!” (#1 in 63 countries), Aloe Blacc, who wrote the lyrics behind the song, shares a narrative that is both inspiring and haunting. The video is inspired by the “11 million true stories” of undocumented people currently residing in the United States and showcases the story of a father, a mother, a child and a border patrol agent as time passes and their lives change. This is truly a powerful testament on how music and good story telling can help listeners and viewers see a concept in a whole new way. The video is directed by filmmaker Alex Rivera, who used real people whose stories are similar to those they portray and include:

Hareth Andrade Ayala is a immigrants’ rights leader in the state of Virginia. She has spent her teen years traveling across the nation to share her family’s story. And recently to fight to stop her own father’s deportation. [sign the petition for Hareth’s dad here]

Margarita Reyes is a Los Angeles actress and producer whose ‘s first guest star appearance on prime time was opposite Emmy-award winning actress Alfre Woodard on the television series The Practice. She is currently starring in the film “Combat Ready”. Despite being born in the US, Margarita was deported as a child alongside her mother. Much of her work focuses on the issues of Latino and immigrant youth.

Agustín Chiprez Alvarez has been in the US for 18 years. He is a proud father of an infant son and, like in the video, seeks work on Los Angeles day laborer corners to provide for his family. He is a songwriter and first became involved in acting through fellow actor Jose Mangandi at Teatro Jornalero.

Produced by NDLON, the ABC Foundation, Interscope Records, Unbound Philanthropies, and La Panda, see it below.


Written by wc

October 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Disney-Pixar’s Dia de los Muertos Animation Film, What’s it About Anyways?

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So… Are you wondering what Disney’s Pixar film about Dia de los Muertos will be all about? I know I am. My Facebook feed was flooded today with astonished / angry / bemused friends who found out that Disney filed a trademark application for “Dia de los Muertos,” which included  Goods & Services in a variety of items like education and entertainment services, cereals, cosmetics and a whole bunch of other merchandise. You can read the list HERE.

I too raised an eyebrow at the notion of Disney trademarking a cultural and religious celebration, I mean, is that even possible? Can you trademark a cultural tradition like that? Is that legal?

But I also wanted to do a bit of research behind the actual concept of this film.   Turns out that Pixar released some information in April of 2012 during CinemaCon and announced that the dynamic duo behind “Toy Story 3,” director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson would be the team behind this animated feature.

Last year, the LA Times also cited that Pixar’s “Toy Story 3″ was the highest-grossing movie of all time in Mexico, collecting $59 million at the box office in 2010, more than megahits like “Avatar” and the “Harry Potter” finale.

I mean, who didn’t love the Spanish-Flamenco dancing option for Buzz Lightyear?!

Seeing all the posts on this potential “Dia de los Muertos” trademark, and even Latino Rebels idea of trademarking “4th of July” in response, I was reminded how fast people reacted towards Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog” and how quick some were to judge it. Jezebel pointed out 5 Possible Problems with The Princess and the Frog before the film even came out, and yet that write up was pretty tame compared to others I saw online.

Recently we saw the drama unfold around Disney’s first Hispanic / Latina princess, where Princess Sophia was and then wasn’t Latina. That must have been a headache.

While we don’t know the details of the story plot or the depth of the characters, what we do know is that “Dia de los Muertos” is a sacred holiday for many in the United States and Latin America. It’s not something superficial nor is it something scary that deals with death from a Western point of view; but rather “Dia de los Muertos” is a celebration of the life of individuals who have passed on. I’ve written about it before.

Disney and Pixar recognizing there is growth and opportunity in culture, especially after the incredible success of the Scottish-based Brave (not to mention Pocahontas and Mulan), was only a matter of time.

In fact, after a quick search, I learned that Disney has been a sponsor to The Smithsonian’s Day of the Dead Ballgame Tournament:

The Day of the Dead Ballgame Tournament, sponsored by the Walt Disney Company, is based on the first organized, ancient Mesoamerican sport played almost 3,500 years ago, using a rubber ball. The ball game will take place at the Ballcourt of the Sun located in the music island of the Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum.

and a sponsor to Los Angeles based Self-Help Graphics Dia de los Muertos Celebration:

Self Help Graphics & Art’s 39th Annual Día de los Muertos is made possible by our artists, volunteers, and board of directors with sponsorship from The Walt Disney Company…

In fact, Disney has been doing Day of the Dead stuff for years! THIS beautiful photo was taken in 2009!

Hmmmm. So, I guess it was just a matter of time?

Well, as Latino Rebels points out,  after a whole day of social media frenzy and petitions from both Presente and Change.org , Disney withdrew it’s trademark application of “Dia de los Muertos,” and stated,

As we have previously announced, Disney-Pixar is developing an animated feature inspired by the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos. Disney’s trademark filing was intended to protect any potential title for our film and related activities. It has since been determined that the title of the film will change and therefore we are withdrawing our trademark filing.

Now the question truly is… what’s the animated film all about?! Hopefully it’s better than Dreamwork’s “The Road to El Dorado.” Who remembers THAT epic fail of a film centered around the New World? Yikes. Problems beyond problems, from story line and character development to total insensitivity towards beliefs and culture. =(

I hope Disney-Pixar has the right people in place to help with some of the important plot and character development aspects of this film (cough! cough! ahem!)

Here’s some artwork released by Pixar of this “Dia de los Muertos” animated film… seems cool… maybe a coming of age story where the dad/grandfather whose passed (based on the photo at the altar) comes back to help a young child / teenager find his / her way through an issue and therefor reconnecting with family and traditional values… hmmm… could be good! Please have the kids side companion be a dog that’s not a chihuahua! A nice big ol’ German Sheppard or Pit Bull would be cool!


Written by wc

May 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm

Photo Lyrics #1

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“Back in the day, when I was young, I’m not a kid anymore, but some days, I sit and wish I was a kid again.” – Ahmad

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May 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

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Fire & Soul! LA Women Unite for Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural @Ford Amphitheater!

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So excited about tonight’s event! Be sure to buy your tickets! Ford opens at 5pm and you can picnic and enjoy a beautiful Sunday outdoors! Show starts at 7pm and it’s going to be fabulous! All proceeds benefit Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural, an amazing non-profit dedicated at enriching the lives of young people through art, culture, music, history and literacy! 100% awesome!

See you tonight!

Written by wc

August 1, 2010 at 11:50 am

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Mexican-Salvadoran-American Girl in Downtown Los Angeles

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My sister Beatriz is one of the most gorgeous women I know.  She’s breathtakingly beautiful with glowing sun kissed skin and a joyous full of life way about her. When we are together, we laugh and laugh in a secret way that only sisters can. When I was browsing through her pictures on Facebook, I noticed one in particular that caught my eye.

The image below, taken by her photographer friend, Brenda Bravo, strikes a similar resemblance to one of my favorite photographs of all time, “American Girl in Italy” by Ruth Orkin.

St. Patricks Day Los Angeles, by Brenda Bravo, 2010

"American Girl in Italy" by Ruth Orkin, 1951

Ruth Orkin was a rebel rousing independent woman who traveled the world and captured the essence of what it was like to be a woman in 1951. Her most famous photograph, “American Girl in Italy” demonstrates a very simple, and very real relationship between a woman walking down a street and the men who look at her.

The status of women in the 1950’s was certainly different than what it is today. It had been just about six years after WWII when Orkin snapped her picture. Women in America were straddling the thin line of  leaving their Rosie the Rivetor jobs and becoming a typical 1950’s housewife, just as young high school girls were being taught “How to be Good Wife” in home economics. I can only imagine what it must have been like for women in Italy, with a country still building itself from the ruins of war.

What Orkin portrays with “American Girl in Italy” is a scurrying young woman clutching her chest, with a pained look on her face as she tries to get past the long line of cat calling leering men.

Fast forward 59 years later, and we can see a similar image captured by Bravo. Yet, something is different. My sister walks with confidence, aware of the looks, incredulous to the stares, head held high, arms at ease, gliding with her step. She confronts the tension in the air with her own power and radiant feminine sexuality. She knows where she is going and she makes her way without regard as to what anyone may think, do or say.

How times have changed. As women, we have come a long way in freeing ourselves from bullet bras and Mad Men husbands. We are independent free thinking women who laugh, love, drink, eat, etc., etc.!

As a photographer myself, I love seeing one of my favorite pictures captured so candidly in present day. 2 kudos to Brenda Bravo!

I smile wondering what Orkin (1921 – 1985) would say of this comparison… if only she could see what I see…

Written by wc

May 8, 2010 at 11:19 pm


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