Threading Voices, 2009
A documentary filmed on HD video, 24 minutes duration. The installation of this film is accompanied by varies objects and interventions that are made during the exhibition process. Installation dimensions are variable.
This work explores the violence and femicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It focuses on the work of social activist Marisela Ortiz Rivera, and the organization Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa, based in Ciudad Juarez.
Over the last 15 years the city of Juarez has been a killing field for young women; nearly 600 women have been found brutally murdered, and hundreds remain missing. The Mexican Government remains passive on the issue to this day, often hindering the process of justice; speaking up against the situation still generates threats and fear. The complexity and danger of living in Ciudad Juarez is tangible and omnipresent. Marisela and her colleagues have created a social safe-haven, where assistance in different forms are untiringly provided to victims of abuse. Their acts of compassion are symbolic of the organization’s decree, which is based on the right to education for all, and equal opportunity for social justice and dignity. The families who receive assistance from the organization recognize and acknowledge its contribution as a fundamentally positive influence on their lives.
The film tracks the daily activities of Marisela, her organization, and their interactions with families that have been affected by the violence. It explores the dark side of the city and its hidden recesses by venturing into situations and places that are marginalized, and often considered too risky to enter. The interviews alternate between the stress of mothers who have lost their daughters, to the caution of individuals about revealing information, afraid of being incriminated.
The production of this film was made possible with the generous support of many individuals and organizations. Lise Bjorne Linnert was the director and producer, Marisela Ortiz Rivera and her family were major contributors to our filming program. Fiscal assistance was provided by the Norwegian Arts Council.
Filming on Location, Cidade Juarez, Mexico
Here are a few random images of the crew filming in and around Cidade Juarez. There were moments of joy, and despair as we heard unfiltered stories of tragedy, and emotional support.
Filming this work had many challenges including negotiations with Federal police, government officials, and individuals on-the-ground. Logistics and facilitation were generously provided by long term contacts such as Marisela Ortiz Rivera and her organization, Nuestras Hijas de Regreso a Casa.