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Racial Borderlands: Suburban Plantation Culture and 'Rancho California (por favor)'
Unformatted Document Text:  Racial Borderlands/10/9/03, p.10 documentary that I had started on migrant farmworker encampments in northern San Diego County (described above), detailed how meticulously the landscape--integral to local economies in rural- suburban communities—is managed as part of the racial formation in Southern California. It also suggested to me how central the contest over space and access to land had become in the region; a theme that would resurface in provocative ways in La Cosecha Nuestra in Escondido. A coalition of non-profit social service agencies, including CRLA, was awarded a grant from Food For All and Healthy Cities and asked to administer a community garden and "food security" education project in South Escondido. Vietnam Veterans of California and the City provided plots of land, the Escondido Clinic provided community health outreach, and a master-gardener and nutritionist from UC Extension exchanged knowledge with community members in a “teach-the- teacher” methodology. The first garden coordinator, Arturo Gonzalez, came to the project after having worked for El Frente Indigena Oaxaqueno Binational. I offered to provide media production resources, students, and myself from UCSD in order to help with the formation of the community and with educational initiatives. Media usage was seen as a way to build-in interactivity and to encourage participatory "ownership" of the project among members of the community. Although many of the indigenous Oaxacans (Mixtecos) and Guatemalans (Mayans) in the community came from remote villages where gardening and fresh produce were commonplace, their eating habits once in California typically involved diets high in starch and cholesterol, canned goods and fast food. This fact was particularly ironic for the recent and ex-farmworkers in the community. Imported labor of this sort helps make California a celebrated breadbasket of international proportions; its human labor force fuels agribusiness on a diet directly linked to medical risk. Based on dialogue and focus groups with community members, the media team intended to facilitate, co-create, and videotape short “teatros” or "telenovelas" that addressed food security issues from the community's point of view. 16 Taking our cue in part from changes in HIV and AIDs awareness programs, our rationale was that this kind of “bottom-up” participant origination--even on pedestrian health and nutrition issues--would stand a far better chance of success than "top down"

Authors: Caldwell, John.
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Racial Borderlands/10/9/03, p.10
documentary that I had started on migrant farmworker encampments in northern San Diego County
(described above), detailed how meticulously the landscape--integral to local economies in rural-
suburban communities—is managed as part of the racial formation in Southern California. It also
suggested to me how central the contest over space and access to land had become in the region;
a theme that would resurface in provocative ways in La Cosecha Nuestra in Escondido.
A coalition of non-profit social service agencies, including CRLA, was awarded a grant from
Food For All and Healthy Cities and asked to administer a community garden and "food security"
education project in South Escondido. Vietnam Veterans of California and the City provided plots of
land, the Escondido Clinic provided community health outreach, and a master-gardener and
nutritionist from UC Extension exchanged knowledge with community members in a “teach-the-
teacher” methodology. The first garden coordinator, Arturo Gonzalez, came to the project after
having worked for El Frente Indigena Oaxaqueno Binational. I offered to provide media production
resources, students, and myself from UCSD in order to help with the formation of the community
and with educational initiatives. Media usage was seen as a way to build-in interactivity and to
encourage participatory "ownership" of the project among members of the community. Although
many of the indigenous Oaxacans (Mixtecos) and Guatemalans (Mayans) in the community came
from remote villages where gardening and fresh produce were commonplace, their eating habits
once in California typically involved diets high in starch and cholesterol, canned goods and fast
food. This fact was particularly ironic for the recent and ex-farmworkers in the community. Imported
labor of this sort helps make California a celebrated breadbasket of international proportions; its
human labor force fuels agribusiness on a diet directly linked to medical risk.
Based on dialogue and focus groups with community members, the media team intended to
facilitate, co-create, and videotape short “teatros” or "telenovelas" that addressed food security
issues from the community's point of view.
16
Taking our cue in part from changes in HIV and AIDs
awareness programs, our rationale was that this kind of “bottom-up” participant origination--even on
pedestrian health and nutrition issues--would stand a far better chance of success than "top down"


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