2501: Migrants A Journey (on DVD) Explores Art Inspired by Those Who Left
October is Hispanic Heritage Month, and in observance PBS will broadcast Yolanda Cruz’s documentary, 2501 Migrants: A Journey. It is the story of artist Alejandro Santiago. He lived in France with his wife for three years; he returned to his home in Teococuilco (Oaxaca) only to find that many of his neighbors had migrated north. His hometown was considered a ghost town.
2501 Migrants: A Journey is an absorbing chronicle of Santiago’s project, from his descriptions of its inception through to its exhibit in Monterey. There are 2501 life-sized statues representing the immigrants who left Teococuilco, each one different and created by a team of artists trained by Santiago. Viewers have the opportunity to see art in the making, as director Cruz films in Santiago’s studio and surrounding area. Scenes of the statues arranged on a hillside illustrate the magnitude of Santiago’s work.
Augmenting 2501 Migrants: A Journey are stories of families broken up by migration—a man who hasn’t seen his brother who went to the United States in nine years, a mother who mourns her daughter who died in the desert while migrating, a mother who cries because her children have migrated to California and forgotten her. There are also stories from those who remain in Teococuilco.
DVD extras offer more details about the people involved in and issues inspiring this remarkable art project. They include: “Migrating from Oaxaca,” “Alejandro’s Past,” “The Team, “A Migrant’s Story,” and a slideshow.
In addition to the DVD and PBS broadcast, 2501: Migrants A Journey will be presented at Res Artis Conference 2010, October 6-10, in Montreal and The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, October 28th and 30th) in New York City.
In the United States, there is so much controversy and debate about immigration. 2501: Migrants A Journey puts human faces and stories to the issues.