Harvesting Dreams/Pizcando Sueños, Gainesville, FL
The Rural Women’s Health Project, founded 10 years ago in Gainesville, Florida, has been awarded a grant from the The US/Mexico Fund for Culture for their project Pizcando Sueños [Harvesting Dreams]. The US/Mexico Fund for Culture is a unique collaboration of The Rockefeller Foundation, The National Fund for Culture and the Arts (FONCA) and the Bancomer Cultural Foundation of Mexico. The US/Mexico Fund for Culture supports projects of excellence that promote a better understanding and collaboration between the cultural communities of the United States and Mexico. The Pizcando Sueños Project will serve as a cultural documentation of the Mexican Farmworking Women’s journey to Florida. Pizcando Sueños will combine oral histories with fotonovelas, a popular Latin American visual medium.
Pizcando Sueños, will serve to preserve the beliefs, values and culture of Mexican Farmworking women as they struggle to pass on their cultural legacy. These oral histories will reflect how the deeply profound beliefs and instilled values that the women bring with them from Mexico, are consistently challenged by such issues as migration, new roles and responsibilities, changing comadre systems and the fast-paced materialistic life of the United States. For Mexican Farmworking women, Pizcando Sueños means that their stories of life in Mexico and their immigration experiences will be preserved and passed on to future generations that are living between two cultures in the United States. For the cultural studies community, the documentation of these oral histories will shed light beyond the perceived barriers of language, socio-economic status and religious affiliation. For fellow Mexicans at home, Pizcando Sueños will provide an insight to the journey and the reality of forging toward a new set of dreams, in a new culture.
Pizcando Sueños has four components. The first component will be to record the oral histories of Mexican farmworking women in Florida. Secondly, the oral histories will then be blended to create composite storylines and characters for a series of three stories. Next, these stories will be developed into three fotonovelas, which will be published in a magazine format. And finally, the fotonovelas will be transformed into a photographic format, for use in gallery exhibitions. Internationally acclaimed photographer Alan Pogue of Austin, Texas will work with the RWHP on the fotonovelas and exhibitions.
The RHWP will work closely with the communities hosting the Pizcando Sueños Project to coordinate the extensive oral histories, novela development and community involvement. The Rural Women’s Health Project will collaborate with community-based organizations in Pasco, Palm Beach, Gadsen, and Volusia counties.
Pizcando Sueños will be exhibited in several venues including the Crealdé School of Art in Winter Park, Florida and at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (Insituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) in Mexico City, La Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, Mexico, La Casa de Cultura San Angel and in Guerrero at the Consejo Para El Fomento de Cultura Iguala. Additional presentations are scheduled for conferences and seminars with social service organizations, University programs and other farmworker organizations.