Community Agroecology Network’s (CAN) Growing Justice youth team collaborated with seven University of California, Santa Cruz undergraduate students from Professor Emily Cohen Ibañez’s Visual Sociology class to produce a 20-minute film, the River Park Garden Film Collective documentary. Under the guidance of Cohen Ibañez, an award-winning professional filmmaker and anthropologist, the student team spent 10 weeks engaged in all aspects of documentary filmmaking— from developing relationships with their peers to determining the form of the project to pre-production, production, and post-production. The project culminated with the opportunity to premiere their film at the UC Santa Cruz “Social Fiction Conference” on Saturday February 27, 2016. The aim of this conference was to raise consciousness around issues of social justice.

Growing Justice team learning how to use camera from UC Santa Cruz students

Growing Justice team learning how to use camera from UC Santa Cruz students

In Visual Sociology Video Production Lab at UCSC: River Park Garden Video Collective, Dr. Cohen Ibañez instructed the UC Santa Cruz students in documentary filmmaking techniques. They discussed methodological, practical and ethical issues of creating visual media and they learned the basics of digital storytelling — how to use digital video cameras and microphones. Then, as part of the collaborative relationship with CAN, the UC Santa Cruz students became the teachers and instructed the Growing Justice youth team in the documentary filmmaking techniques they had learned. The youth team received hands-on training in the power of storytelling. 

Their aim was to make a documentary of the Mesa Verde Gardens gardeners telling their stories of migration, food justice, urban belonging, and gardening. Within the framework of their 20-minute documentary, the students collectively researched, organized, shot, edited, and presented the final project to an audience at UC Santa Cruz. buy proscar online. The students documented this collective process, from the initial community meeting to the documentary screening, in a wordpress blog

Next, in June 2016, two Growing Justice youth team members attended CAN’s 6th Annual International Youth Exchange for Food Security and Food Sovereignty in Nicaragua. There they screened the film to an audience of youth leaders from Nicaragua and Mexico.



River Park Garden Video Collective Group shot at the garden in Watsonville, CA

Video Project Director: Emily C Cohen Ibañez – Emily C Cohen Ibañez, an award-winning filmmaker and anthropologist, completed her PhD in Anthropology at New York University where she earned a certificate in Culture and Media. She also holds a BA in Anthropology from UC Santa Cruz. Dr. Cohen Ibañez directed Iraq Veterans Against the War Perform Operation First Casualty (2007) and Santa Cruz Prepares for Y2K (1999), short films that reached popular audiences through public access platforms, the Society for Visual Anthropology Film Festival, and the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Dr. Cohen recently completed her first feature-length film, Bodies at War/MINA (2015). In March 2016, the film screened at urban centers and rural areas most affected by landmines throughout Colombia as a part of the Bodies at War Outreach Campaign. She is currently producing her second feature-length documentary Virtual War: Memories of Abu-Ghraib. Her research and filmmaking have been supported by the National Science Foundation, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, American Council for Learned Societies, NYU Torch Prize, and Fulbright Colombia.

She is completing revisions for her first book Bodies at War: An Ethnography which is under review at Duke University Press. Her book examines what it means to rehabilitate after landmine injury in Colombia. Her postdoctoral research Military Utopias of Mind and Machine examined the rise of military utopic visions of mind that involve the creation of virtual worlds and hyper real simulations in US military psychiatry for the cultivation of “psychological resilience.”