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Languages and Literatures

Actividades culturales - primavera 2015

Please use contact info to verify that event has not been canceled or moved.


Performance of Placas: The Most Dangerous Tattoo
UCSD: Visual Arts @ SME Performance Space
April 21 | 6 p.m. | Cost unknown | Contact:

An excerpt from the critically acclaimed play by UCSD Writing/ Literature alum Paul S. Flores about transnational gangs, tattoo removal and healing. Followed by a discussion with cast and gang peacemaker Alex Sanchez.

Performance: Jews and Latinos! Jewish Music and Hot Latin Rhythms
SDSU: Smith Recital Hall
April 22 | 7 p.m. | Free | Contact: (619) 594-5327

When not booked in ballrooms or theatres, many Jewish and Latin musicians in the late 1950's sustained themselves on the Bar Mitzvah and wedding circuit.  From Stan Getz to Herb Alpert to Larry Harlow, Jewish musicians have been transfixed by Latin rhythms and how to organically mix them with Jewish songs and melodies.

Jewish Music and Hot Latin Rhythms, featuring Yale Strom and members Hot Pstromi with Gene Perry, Afro-Cuban percussion, will take the listener from the East European shtetl to a swinging night club in Miami Beach, and back.

Celebration: 45th Chicano Park Day
Chicano Park, Barrio Logan
April 25 | 10 a.m.–5 p.m. | Free

Contact: (619) 563-4661

Be a part of communities coming together! Catch a free ride to the 45th annual Chicano Park Day celebration. Experience traditional music, dance, live bands, food, and arts and craft vendors.  Free transportation and lunch at Las Cuatro Milpas restaurant.

The 45th annual Chicano Park Day celebration will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 10 am to 5 pm in historic Chicano Park, located in the Barrio Logan community, under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. The theme for the 2015 celebration is "El Movimiento Continues: 45 years of Protesta, Cultura, y 40 years of Danza Azteca."

This family event is always free and open to the public. The day's events will include traditional music and dance, many live bands, speakers, lowrider car show, vendor booths, and kids arts workshops.

Performance: El pasado nunca se termina
San Diego Civic Theatre
April 25 | 2 and 7 p.m. | $35 - $125 | Contact: No info available

San Diego Opera presents Lyric Opera of Chicago. | Music by José “Pepe” Martínez & Libretto by Leonard Foglia | co-creation of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera

Morelos, Mexico. 1910. The son of a wealthy landowner returns to his parents’ home to find his future... only to fall deeply in love with a humble servant girl. As forbidden personal passions burn, so too do political ambitions. It is the eve of the Mexican Revolution. And what happens on the hacienda changes destinies forever. El Pasado is a gripping, deeply emotional story that takes audiences from long-ago Mexico to present-day Chicago. It is a tale of lovers and freedom fighters, scandal and heroism, hopes and dreams-and the legacy of our ancestors that lives within us all.

The great Mariachi Vargas De Tecalitlán returns in this new Mariachi Opera from the same team who brought us Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the sold-out hit in 2013. Come to the theater early for free local Mariachi performances on the Civic Theatre Concourse.

All performances at the San Diego Civic Theatre. 90 minutes with no intermission

English and Spanish translations projected above the stage.

Music: “Todo Mundo & We Are Sirens”
Winstons Beach Club: 1921 Bacon St., San Diego
Apr. 25 | 9:30 p.m. | $10 | Contact: (619) 222-6822

Todo Mundo ("All the World"), who's Organic Fire was voted "Best World Music Album" at the 2011 San Diego Music Awards, blends the musical flavors of Spanish Rumba, Reggae, Samba, Bossa Nova, and Middle Eastern styles into an irresistible groove that has been moving dance floors and connecting with audiences across the world since 2009. The band, which was nominated for "Best World Music" band at the 2012, 2013, and 2014 San Diego Music Awards, is led by singer, guitarist, and songwriter Santiago Orozco, a native of Colombia. Through music, Todo Mundo has learned to share their soul and experiences with the world. The power of music allows them to transmit their messages of equality and diversity. Their music and performances possess explosive energy that celebrates life and unity, with the aim of connecting with people from all over the world, and encouraging them to live in the present, as one. They have toured across North America, performing at various festivals and concert halls throughout California, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Mexico. They have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with international artists such as Los Amigos Invisibles, Sister Nancy, Aterciopelados, Jarabe De Palo, and El Gran Silencio. In 2013, Todo Mundo teamed up with Grammy Award winning engineer Alan Sanderson and released Conexion (Oct. 2013), their latest full length studio album. The album contains a “masterful blend” of grooves from around the world, and has been nominated for "Best World Music Album" at the 2014 San Diego Music Awards (San Diego Uptown News). The band maintains a busy tour schedule and is planning on releasing an EP in 2015.

Lecture: “El Poeta” Documentary Screen and Discussion
Logan Heights Library: 567 S. 28th St., San Diego 92113
Apr. 28 | 6:30 p.m. | Free | Contact: Clare Pister  (619) 594-2487 

Both heartbreaking and inspiring, “El Poeta” tells the story of renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia and the brutal killing of his 24-year-old son, Juan Francisco. His death—collateral damage in a drug war that has left more than 100,000 dead or missing since 2006—ignited mass protests and an ongoing international movement for peace after. A film by Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway of Loteria Films, “El Poeta” airs Sunday, May 12, 2015, 11:00 p.m. ET on KPBS as part of VOCES, Latino Public Broadcasting’s arts and culture series on PBS, presented by PBS SoCaL. A preview screening of the film will be held Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 6:30-8:00 PM at Logan Heights Library, followed by a moderated discussion led by Dr. David Shirk, Professor of Political Science and International Relations at University of San Diego.

Lecture: “Lynching Violence in Twentieth-Century Mexico: State Formation, Vigilantism and Local Communities in Puebla”
Apr. 29 | 3:30 p.m. | Free | Contact: (858) 534-6050

Speaker: Gema Santamaria is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology and historical studies at the New School for Social Research, specializing in violence, crime and vigilantism in Mexico and Central America. She served as the main advisor for the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report for Latin America 2013 - 2014, “Citizen Security with a Human Face: Evidence and proposals for Latin America.”

Santamaria received her bachelor’s degree in international relations from the Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM), and holds a master’s degree in gender and social policy from the London School of Economics as well as a M.A. in sociology from the New School. She has been a Chevening Scholar, a Fulbright Scholar and a recipient of various research fellowships including the Janey Fellowship, the New School Dissertation Fellowship and a CONACYT fellowship.

Santamaria has carried out ethnographic work on gangs in Mexico and Central America, and archival research on vigilantism in 20th century Mexico. Her thesis deals with the history of lynching and extrajudicial violence in 20th century Mexico, and her work has been published in journals and magazines such as Migration Studies, ReVista (Harvard Review of Latin America), Americas Quarterly and Foreign Affairs en Latinoamerica.

Film: Manos sucias
Digital Gym Media Arts, 2921 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego
$8.50 with student ID | Contact: (619) 230-1938 or  
May 1 and 2| 6:15 p.m.
May 3 | 7:45 p.m.
May 4 | 4 p.m.
May 5 | 6 p.m.
May 6 | 8 p.m.

Synopsis: From the port of Buenaventura–the most dangerous city in Colombia–three men embark on a journey over the dark murky waters of the Pacific. A set of mysterious coordinates is their guide, a fishing net is their cover, and a narco-torpedo filled with 100kg of cocaine is their cargo. Following estranged brothers as they they risk everything for a chance a better life; Manos Sucias takes a close look at life at the bottom of the food chain in the international drug trade.

Run Time: 84 minutes

MPAA Rating: UR

Celebration: “Fiesta Cinco de Mayo”
Old Town San Diego
Free entrance/parking. Price of food varies | Contact:
May 2 | 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
May 3 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Multiple stages featuring live music, entertainment and family-friendly activities. Events and significant entertainment on three stages.

Performance: “Once Upon A Tiempo”
Balboa Theater. 4th and E St.,  San Diego 92101
May 3 | 2 p.m. | $20-$15 | Contact: (619) 570-1100

Join the Classics Philharmonic Orchestra, Mariachi Garibaldi of Southwestern College (Directed by Jeff Nevin), and Conductor Dana Zimbric for a mariachi-infused program that ventures far and wide to explore the world of classic fairy tales through the lens of different cultures.  This is a bilingual (Spanish and English) presentation.

Striking A Positive Chord:  Classics 4 Kids is continuing to strike a positive chord with the diverse elementary students, teachers and families we serve throughout San Diego County with our unique and effective approach to student and family learning and growth through the transformational power of music.

Concert: Misa Azteca (Aztec Mass)
Old Town San Diego
May 4 | 7:30 p.m. | Free | Contact:

Southwestern College Concert Choir will fill Old Town San Diego State Historic Park with the sounds of Joseph Julian González’s Misa Azteca.

Meaning “Aztec Mass,” Misa Azteca is based on the traditions of Roman Catholic mass yet features verses from the Cantares Mexicanos - a manuscript collection of Aztec songs and poems recorded in the 16th century at around the time of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. An orchestra, choir, soloists and pre-Columbian percussion instruments will accompany the spoken and sung portions of the celebration, which will be carried out in Latin, Spanish and Nahuatle (the language of the Aztecs).

Lecture: United Farm Workers Movement 101
UCSD Cross Cultural Center, Comunidad Room
May 6 | 12 p.m. | Free | Contact: or (858) 822-3808

An overview of the cross-cultural moments of solidarity especially among Filipino and Latino laborers. Presented by the Cross-Cultural Center Social Justice Education Team.

Conference: “Freedom of Expression”
USD Location: TBD
May 6-8 | Time: TBA | Free | Contact: (619) 260-7919

In partnership with Nuestra Aparente Rendición, an international volunteer organization working to protect the freedom of expression in Mexico, the Trans-Border Institute will bring together leading journalists, scholars, and advocates to discuss the biggest challenges to the freedom of expression in war-torn Mexico and Central America.

Mexico and Central America have become two of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists – more than 100 have been killed or disappeared since 2004. Hundreds more have been censored, threatened, and forced into exile. Collecting, translating, and disseminating their work to a broader audience will help to protect at-risk journalists, vindicate those who have been exiled, and preserve the memory of those who have been disappeared. The substance of their work, in turn, will expose an English-language audience to a much more nuanced perspective on the wave of violence gripping the region over the last decade than what’s available in the international press or the policy literature.

Local journalists who have cultivated sources and invested their lives in the communities they cover almost inevitably achieve better rapport, a deeper sense of local history, and a more nuanced understanding of causality than even the very best who drop in from abroad. The contraction of newsrooms and foreign bureaus and the myopic focus on border and drug enforcement have only widened this gap. Local journalists also cover the small stories in between the crises that attract international attention. They’re better attuned to the experience of change over time and less prone to hyperbole about apocalypse or revolution.

An experiential dimension is vital to understanding the current wave of violence in Mexico and Central America. The physical impact of violence hasn’t risen to the levels experienced in Syria or Afghanistan. But, the terror, uncertainty, and displacement have been far more intense and pervasive than the term “drug war” or the body count suggest. The San Fernando (2010) and Ayotzinapá (2014) massacres have only just begun to open the eyes of the world to a more complex and terrifying reality, and one deeply tied to legacies of authoritarian rule.

The goal of the conference is to produce a unique and accessible book exploring the lives and work of frontline, exiled, and disappeared journalists. By including photographs, essays, biographical sketches, and other artifacts along with hard-hitting journalism, we will explore the current violence at a more intimate sensory, aesthetic, and cultural level. We will examine the freedom of expression as something essentially human, something that can’t be captured by purely quantitative metrics or the presence or absence of censorship. At the same time, the life and work of local journalists show that violence is not some immutable characteristic of these places, but the product of specific histories – actions by individuals and institutions that can be identified and changed.

Please check back later this semester for a program and list of participants.

Film/Discussion: Real Women Have Curves followed by
Q&A with playwright Josefina López
UCSD Cross Cultural Center, Comunidad Room
May 7 | 4 p.m. | Free | Contact: (858) 534-2230

After the screening, talk about the film and engage in critical dialogue about the issues of body, gender, sexuality, Chican@/Latin@, and education.

Ballet: “Don Quixote”
Spreckels Theatre, San Diego, CA 121 Broadway, Suite 600 San Diego, CA 92101
Tickets: $28.85 - $77.85 | Contact: (619) 235-9500
May 8 | 8 p.m.
May 9 | 8 p.m.
May 10 | 2 p.m.

Based on the Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote follows the adventures of a man out to revive chivalry.


Exhibition: “Dream City: The 1915 Panama-California Exposition”
Balboa Park: San Diego Museum of Art
through Aug. 28* | Closed Weds., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. except 12-5 p.m. on Sun. | $8 with student ID | Contact: (619) 232-7931

Balboa Park was described as the Dream City during the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. To celebrate the centennial anniversary, this exhibition highlights the photographs of Francis Bruguière taken during that time.

Born in San Francisco, Francis Bruguière was a member of the Photo-Secession movement that sought to legitimize photography as a fine art medium, putting it on equal ground with painting and sculpture. Bruguière used soft focus exposures and subtle variations in tone to evoke associations with painting, especially the work of the Impressionists. Using these techniques, Bruguière captured the park’s Spanish-inspired architecture, creating an almost dream-like atmosphere in his photographs. These images offer us the fascinating chance to step back in time and experience the Dream City as it was originally conceived.

*The museum will be closed on April 24, 25, and 26.


poster of elements of the exhibition: photos and various types of basketsExhibition:  Kumeyaay: Native Californians

Where: Balboa Park: San Diego Museum of Man
Hours: Daily, 10-4:30
Cost: Students with ID: $7.50
Phone: 619-239-2001

The Kumeyaay, or Diegueño (as they were later called by the Spanish), are the Native American people of present-day Southern California (San Diego and western Imperial Counties) and Northern Baja. For many generations before the arrival of the Spanish, they occupied the deserts, mountains, and coasts, developing sophisticated means of adapting to the diverse environments. With the arrival of Spanish settlers in the mid-1700s, Kumeyaay lifeways had to change and adapt, often by force.

The exhibit explores traditional Kumeyaay lifeways, featuring the art of pottery and basket making, food procurement, dress and adornment, traditional medicine, games, and ceremonies. Artifacts and photographs from the museum’s collection highlight the rich cultural heritage of the Kumeyaay, offering a glimpse of the life of the ancestors of today’s present day people. The exhibit remains popular with school groups from throughout the county.


Exhibition:  Maya: Heart of Sky, Heart of Earthexhibit poster

Where: Balboa Park: San Diego Museum of Man
Hours: Daily, 10-4:30
Cost: Students with ID: $7.50
Phone: 619-239-2001

The ancient Maya tamed time. They could reckon dates far into the past and into the future by using cycles of the moon, the sun, and the planet Venus. More than a thousand years ago, they carved important dates, names of their rulers, and ceremonial events in their hieroglyphic writing on stone monuments in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador.

The huge Maya monuments displayed in the Rotunda Gallery are casts of the originals from Quirigua, a site in Guatemala. The casts were made for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and have been on display since then, except during World War II, when the Navy turned the Museum into a hospital. Today these casts are studied by researchers who are tracing the history of the Maya through their hieroglyphic writing. The Museum’s casts are in better condition than the originals, which have suffered some weathering and erosion in the 95 years since the casts were made.

The current exhibition includes a 42-foot-wide mural of a rainforest set in the time after the Maya Classic Period (C.E. 250-900), when the great ceremonial centers became overgrown by the jungle. In the center of the mural is the lofty ceiba tree, the sacred model for the Maya cosmos. Brilliant birds, and animals such as monkeys and jaguars, are represented, as well as elements from many Maya sites.

A frequent misconception is that the Maya no longer exist. Not so—their descendants continue to carry on many of the traditions and cultural traits of their ancestors through their weaving, woodcarving, and ceramics. The Museum’s conservation of the monumental casts offers us an opportunity to present the Maya as a cultural continuum.