A Film about Salvadoreans in D.C.
40 Years and Still Running is a documentary film project that explores the history of the Salvadorean Diaspora in Washington DC as seen through the eyes of Salvadorean and Salvadorean-American artists – singers, poets, visual artists, dancers, and DJs. The film bears witness to the struggles and humanity of the hundreds of thousands of people from El Salvador who made, and continue to make, Washington DC and the surrounding areas their home starting in 1980 – the beginning of the mass migration fueled by the US-backed war.
Why this film needs to be made - At a time in DC when history is being erased with every building that comes down and crane that goes up, we want our story to be a permanent part of the record. The Washington DC region is home to the largest Salvadorean population in the U.S. outside of California and is the only metropolitan region where the majority of Latinos are Salvadorean. Yet the continuous migration of people from El Salvador to DC and its impact on the city is a little-known, documented, or celebrated aspect of DC History.
This project – through the final film, the 30+ recorded interviews, the boxes upon boxes of archival materials – will be a lasting testament to the presence and contributions of the Salvadorean diaspora in the nation’s capital. We hope our film inspires you to dig into your own boxes, uncover another layer of history, and then tell your own story.
Quique is the vision and force behind this project. He is excited to be taking his years as a poet, performer, and trouble maker into the realm of documentary film. He is in charge of all creative decisions about the content, look, and feel of the film and shaping the overarching narrative of the film.
Hilary is in charge of overall management of this project, keeping an eye on finances and leading fundraising and grant writing. She is part of the team shaping the overall progression of the film. With Delia, she helps keep Quique organized and focused so he can do what he does best.
Delia is the one who keeps our entire team on track with scheduling, outreach, and assists during filming, grant writing, ingestion and post-production as well.
Zach is in charge of the technological and production endeavors of the film. This includes the filming of interviews, ingestion of files, and post production stages. He is also the designer of the website.
Community Liaison and Researcher
Miguel Castro Luna is a community organizer who has been involved in several oral history/community projects in conjunction with artivists including Machetres, El Dia de los Muertos, La Esquina and he has been key in keeping the tradition of art and activism in D.C.
Documentary Filmmaker / Mentor / Ally
40 Years and Still Running follows in the footsteps of La Manplesa, the documentary film about the 1991 uprising in Mt. Pleasant by Filmmaker Ellie Walton who we've collaborated with in the making of this film that we view as a sister film to La Manplesa.
Luchi has been a long-time supporter of all our artistic endeavors in D.C. Often seen walking through Brookland and Mount Pleasant, she has been a source of emotional and moral support throughout this entire project and she reminds us to have fun with the process.
Frida Larios is a typo-graphic artist from El Salvador (of mixed Indigenous ancestry). She holds a Bachelors of Arts from University College Falmouth in Cornwall, England, and a Masters of Arts in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, University of the Arts London, England.
Edwin Aparicio is considered to be one of the most sought-after flamenco performers, teachers and choreographers in the United States. He has been described by critics as “the most amazing dancer seen in years,” “a technical powerhouse dancing with blistering conviction,” having “hellfire footwork” and choreographies with “beautiful, evocative imagery." He is a recipient of the Cross of the Order of Civil Merit, granted by the King Felipe VI of Spain.
Carlos Parada-Ayala is the author of the poetry book, La luz de la tormenta / The Light of the Storm and has received the Larry Neal Prize for Poetry in Washington, DC. He is co-editor of the bilingual anthology Knocking on the Doors of the White House: Latina and Latino Poets in Washington, DC (Zozobra Publishing, Maryland, 2017).
Muriel Hasbun’s expertise as an artist and as an educator focuses on issues of cultural identity, migration and memory. Through an intergenerational, transnational and transcultural lens, Hasbun constructs contemporary narratives and establishes a space for dialogue where individual and collective memory spark new questions about identity and place.
Lilo Gonzalez is a singer and songwriter who has touched the lives of many people with his fun yet thoughtful music, sending a message to adults and children of all cultures that we can and should unite to build a better world for all.
The art work of Quique Avilés spans over three decades in the united states. Originally from El Salvador, Avilés arrived in Washington D.C as a fifteen year old. He became a writer and a trouble maker from the get go. Aviles has been writing and preforming his monologues and poetry about the realities of Latinos and people of color in the united states for almost forty years.
ma-che-tres is slang term for a machete tied to G3 rifle used by uprising Central American indigenous communities during the 1980s civil wars. In 1998 the band's first self titled release Machetres 7” record was produced by Guy Picciotto in a split release by Dischord / Brickthrower Records. Since then, the band has played throughout the United States and El Salvador.
Alex Iraheta is known for his talent as a singer songwriter, actor, and collaborator in many different art projects including El Barrio Street Theater. Alex has been the frontman for his own band Anexo Social. He's known for his bilingual lyrics and his musical style which tends to be a fusion of rock, reggae, and cumbia. He is also known for lyrics that speak about the realities of artists and the plight of common folk--workers, immigrant and the poor.
Hugo Najera a.k.a. DJ Mezkla is a U.S. Salvadoran Guatemalan educator, community builder, DJ, and cultural creative from the Washington, D.C., area. His contributions to community events and DJ sets reflect a mission to fight against segregation and gentrification by creating voices and events that reflect the synthesis of his D.C., Latinx, and U.S. cultures.
Pedro Avilés is better known as a community activist but he is one of the pillars of community/political theater or theater of conscience in D.C. first as one of the founding members of Teatro Nuestro and subsequently as the founder of El Barrio Street Theater. His theater work always focused on social issues both at the local and international level. He was also one of the founders of El Trompezón, the first literary magazine by Salvadorean writers in Washington, DC.
Ivan Navas is a musician and educator who grew up in D.C. and became a professional saxophone player and percussionist straight out of the Latin Jazz program at the Bell Multicultural School and then moved on to share the stage with many professional musicians around the country and the world. Ivan continues his commitment to the D.C. barrio by coming back to teach music at the very same place that birthed his talent--Columbia Heights Educational Campus (CHEC). He is a collaborator in many respect with poets, theater people, and the community at large.
Henry Mills Gonzalez was born in DC to a Salvadoran mother and a Jewish-American father. He is a Salvadorean-American poet, writer, performer and punk band leader. He is known for his fusion of performative style and poetry with elements of punk, hip-hop, and spoken word. https://henryamills.com/
A special thanks to the contributing artists who are helping create the soundscape for the film.
Marcial Candido was born in Santa Tecla, La Libertad, El Salvador. Currently, Marcial resides in Washington DC. His artwork focuses on a neo-expressionist folklore where human figures and human emotions are the main theme of his work. “As a neo-expressionist artist, I don’t reduce my world to abstract art. Instead, I add beauty and love to the human experience”.