One of 10 institutes to receive the “Young Historians, Living Histories” grant from the Smithsonian Institution, the Institute of Texan Cultures in downtown San Antonio set in search of documentarians with a unique understanding of new media and an inherent appreciation of history to help fulfill the program’s goal of encouraging young historians to “explore and better understand the history and culture of the Asian Pacific American community while learning to utilize new technology.”
Having recently completed several new media projects over the past months, highlighted by a dynamic presentation at TEDx San Antonio, the Convergent Media Collective at UIW was contacted by Angelica Docog, the director of the Institute of Texan Cultures. After gathering a diverse group of Asian Pacific American high school students from San Antonio and the surrounding area, Angelica contacted the Collective to help the students learn to shoot video, record audio, and capture engaging oral histories. Over the coming months, the Convergent Media Collective helped shoot, produce, and edit video pieces of young Koreans and Korean immigrants B.J. Yang and (insert other names here) telling their unique stories about coming to America and their encounter with the American culture. Dr. Joseph Lopez, along with Collective members and recent UIW graduates Jonathan Guajardo (’13) and Joel Pena (’13), spearheaded the project and helped the young historians develop their shooting and editing techniques.
The students showcased their films at the CAAM Film Festival on Marc 15th in San Francisco and received the notoriety which comes from contributing to the prestigious Smithsonian Institute. Angelica described it best when she said, “Aside from recording historically significant material, these students will contribute to the Smithsonian Institution’s body of work.” All in all, this was a great opportunity for our Collective to team up with the Institute and the Smithsonian to help young Korean-Americans tell their stories and experience their culture in a new and exciting way.