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Final Video for Lomas del Poleo: Colonia Perdida / Lost Colonia

July 23, 2011

After a full year since we first arrived in El Paso, we are finishing Colonia Perdida: la Historia de Lomas del Poleo, or Lost Colonia: the Story of Lomas del Poleo. Please visit our Vimeo account to view the video or alternatively watch it in four parts on YouTube, and don’t forget to check out our other short films about El Paso. Please feel free to view it, download it, and distribute it far and wide! If you would like to request a DVD, please email us at with “DVD Request” as the subject line. We will continue to update the blog with news of any additional short videos, distribution efforts, and/or opportunities to support the colonias we worked with.

Plans for the film & one last reflection on the production phase

The film will primarily be distributed online and by DVD, and will hopefully be an instrument for students, activists, and border residents to educate and learn more about Mexican land rights, Ciudad Juárez, and the meaning of development. Colonia Perdida is not meant to be, nor is capable of being, a “complete” picture of the story of Lomas. Rather, it is a snapshot of a point in the history of a once-large community. Lomas has been reduced to a small group of people guarding land which has become more precious to them than life itself in the most literal sense. It is telling a collaborative perspective of the farmer, the grandmother, the organizer, and not the developer or government official. As we see it, and as explained more deeply in previous blog posts, every story has a particular and necessarily limited perspective (or rather a collection of them). In turn, documentary must be mindful and intentional in identifying whose voices are often lost in the fray of modern society. The reproduction of these voices is ultimately more of a gift to those who haven’t had the opportunity to hear these stories than to those who are gracious and brave enough to tell them.

In discussions of social change and solidarity, you often hear the phrase of being a “voice for the voiceless,” especially in fields like journalism and documentary, which specifically seek to uncover buried truths. In this process, I have come to believe strongly that there is no such thing as a voiceless community or group or individual — rather, there are many people who are deaf. The process of making this video was a collaborative effort of a community and ourselves — with, not for, them. They are more than victims in front of a camera, and we are more than hands operating a camera. I am humbled and glad to say that the video, albeit not a professional-grade film, emerged from a common effort and reflects a piece of everyone who contributed to its production.

Thank you…

As in the credits of the video, I would really like to thank the people who made it possible. First and foremost, the community of Lomas del Poleo, for letting us into their homes, for sharing food and fiestas with us. Also, the friends of Lomas, who helped in our early education about the situation, in our background research, and our safe transport across the border; our families, for their understanding, their support, and their faithful comments on the blog posts; professors and friends in El Paso who got us started, especially Gina Nuñez, Irasema Coronado, and Howard Campbell (all of UTEP); our friends and mentors back in D.C., especially Adam Lifshey, Ellie Walton, and Andréa Schmidt for taking time to give thoughtful advice and support during post-production; and to friends in El Paso and Juárez who also kindly corrected my Spanish subtitles.

On a personal note, I also want to thank my co-producer, co-director, and favorite aunt of my future children, Katy Tucker, for adventuring with me into the uncharted territory of documentary, for keeping us on track and balanced, for picking up an interview when I was lost for words, for making me slow down and rest, and for invariably and casually annihilating my attempts at digital file organization. Lastly, there is no possible way that any part of this video could have happened — its conception, its planning, its production, its post-production, its distribution — without the meticulous and dedicated support of our Executive Producer, Matthew Gladden. He is the secret key to the entire project, the spark of energy that ignites each step of the way.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Susan Peacock permalink
    July 23, 2011 9:24 pm

    The videos themselves are the essence, and they are as poignant ‘finished’ as they were the first time you showed them. As a painter, I know how easy it is to, unknowingly, refine the essence right out of something. The few final touches bring the thoughts into focus, but don’t get in the way of the beauty that was already there. Way to go!

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