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Currently in Melton Gallery
"The Spaces Between"
Exhibition on view: March 11–April 22, 2021
In commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre and as a continuation of Melton Gallery’s social justice art programming, The University of Central Oklahoma’s Melton Gallery presents “The Spaces Between,” a group art exhibition featuring Eyakem Gulilat’s photo-documentary series along with independent short films from the Oklahoma Cine Latino Film Festival.
The narratives in these works investigate the personal and political nature of our shared spaces: the spaces that separate us, that bind us, and those that deny us. The exhibition will be on view in Melton Gallery from March 11-April 22, followed by an outdoor film festival on April 30, 2021.
About Eyakem Gulilat’s Photography Series: Gulilat’s "Site Unseen" and "The Promise Land" series bear witness to the legacies, remnants, and thriving occupants of North Tulsa and Boley, Oklahoma; both historically Black spaces. "Site Unseen" investigates the history and violent erasure of Black Wallstreet and the people that built it. "The Promise Land" series documents the parallel lives of the inhabitants of Boley, Oklahoma; a town founded by African Americans looking for independence in self-governance. In his "Security Theater" series, Gulilat uses appropriated stills of news and reality TV footage of immigrants and migrants seeking to cross borders.
“In 1921 the bloody Tulsa Race Riot broke out, devastating African American communities. It is believed to be the single worst incident of racial violence in American history. The legacy of this violence continues today to be a sensitive subject that bears commemorating,” said Gulilat of his "Site Unseen" series.
“Boley was founded as an all-Black town in 1903 by African Americans seeking to govern themselves. Mennonites settled in this same area in 1977 after fleeing Mexico during political unrest. I am interested in the parallels which have brought both communities to this land at different times in history as well as the differences which keep them separate,” said Gulilat of The Promise Land series.
Events will be viewable in person and via Instagram Livestream @ucomeltongallery. Due to COVID-19 protocol, visitors are encouraged to RSVP to events by emailing email@example.com. All events are free and open to the public.
March 11, 5-7:30 p.m.
Gallery Talk with EYAKEM Gulilat
March. 25, 2021, 6-7:30 p.m.
Filmmaker’s Panel Discussion
April 8, 5-7:30 P.M.
Young Filmmaker’s Screening NighT
April 9, 6-7:30 P.M.
April 22, 5-7:30 p.m.
OKCine Latino Film Festival Outdoor Film Screening
April 30, Sunset (Plunkett Park, across from Melton Gallery)
About the Films Selected from the OK Cine Latino Film Festival
• We Were Kids- Matias Muñoz Rodriguez, Director
Synopsis: Celeste, a Latina teenager, loses her childhood innocence and comes to terms with her status as a person of color after an adult pulls his gun on her best friend.
• The Other Border- Justin Zimmerman, Director
Synopsis: High school student Gerardo Hernandez - raised in the United States since six months of age - was one of over 100 undocumented workers arrested by ICE in Ohio on June 5th, 2018. Gerardo spent almost 2 months in prison before being released and is now scheduled to be deported. THE OTHER BORDER is his American story, told through intimate interviews with Gerardo and his sister, Karime.
• Home: Joselyn's Story- The Representation Project, Production
Synopsis: Home: Joselyn's Story" is the story of Joselyn, who was brought to the United States from Honduras by her mother when she was 9 years old. As a mother now, she reflects on the decision her mother made for her, risking everything to give her daughter a better life.
• PRIDE, Edith Rodriguez, Director
Synopsis: The bounds of love and tradition are tested when a teenage girl confronts her strict grandmother on Pride weekend.
• ¿Como Vuelan Las Flores?, Roberto Salvador Rodriguez, Director
Synopsis: Xóchitl, a young indigenous craftswoman from the hidalguense Huasteca in Mexico, travels to Spain to show the world her artwork and the will and power behind indigenous Mexican women. It's the first time in the history of Mexico that the lead of a documentary is an indigenous woman from the Huasteca of Hidalgo. She travels to the Old World aiming to represent the rights and the culture of the indigenous people in Latin America.
• Plane Pretend, Sharon Arteaga, Director
Synopsis: Pilar and her brothers are ecstatic to take their first flight, but they must hide their excitement or risk everything.
Each of these films represents a different aspect of Latinx experiences. Together, their nuanced representations allow the beauty in human complexity to shine through, breaking the false and dehumanizing concept that Latin American lives and cultures are monolithic.
About the OK Cine Latino Film Festival:
“The OK Cine Latino Film Festival promotes the Latino cultural influence on cinema and has become a showcase for local and international filmmakers with submittals from Mexico, Spain, and South America. The event includes a presentation of short films created by teams of high school students from the Youth Film Workshop.” - Rogelio Almeida, Festival Director