CAAM’s Memories to Light in the San Francisco Bay Guardian

The San Francisco Bay Guardian, an online and weekly print paper, recently published a nice piece on the Center for Asian American Media’s Memories to Light home movies project.

Erlinda Agatep poses with her son Dennis in a vintage home movie. Photo still courtesy of Davin Agatep.
Erlinda Agatep poses with her son, Dennis, in a vintage home movie. Photo still courtesy of Davin Agatep.

From Kirstie Haruta’s article:

For as long as I can remember, my family has spent New Year’s Day at my aunt and uncle’s house in Campbell. As we had our fill of sushi and kamaboko, watched football, and, in more recent years, entertained my little cousins, my Uncle Hiro would walk around the house with his video camera, getting everyone on tape. He would focus in on my brother and me, narrating in Japanese so I could only catch our names and how old we were that year. It was just a thing Uncle Hiro did on New Years Day.  I never thought of it as recording history.But that’s exactly what home movies are – a largely untapped source of our histories from an intimate and personal perspective. Recognizing this, the Center for Asian American Media has developed Memories to Light, an initiative that collects, digitizes, and shares the home movies of Asian American families. Advances in digital media and discussions between CAAM executive director Stephen Gong and archivist and filmmaker Rick Prelinger gave way to the project, which has now gained over a dozen family collections and somewhere between 30 and 50 hours of footage.

“I think Asian-American communities are becoming more relevant and more engaged and more deeply embedded in the American story and making our presence felt,” said Gong. “It’s a good time for a lot of good stories.”

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