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.