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Somerville teens document strike

Posted by Brian Benson  December 16, 2009 11:00 AM

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Supporters of UFCW Local 1445 hold signs.

If Picasso could turn the Spanish Civil War into art, perhaps Somerville teenagers can do the same with local union conflict. On Dec. 14, the members of immigrant advocacy group Centro Presente's youth program walked a few doors down to the UFCW Local 1445 textile workers strike at Somerville's Angelica Corporation to both support the workers and capture the emotions on film.
 
It's part of a new project, "We Paint our World/Pintamos Nuestro Mundo," to let youth express their day-to-day lives creatively, said Centro Presente executive director Patricia Montes. More than 30 Somerville 12- to 18-year-olds, all of Central American heritage, participate in the center's ongoing leadership development group. They started working with youth organizer Blanca Rosa a month ago to learn how to interview family members and neighbors about the immigrant experience. Cambridge documentary photographer Mario Quiroz is teaching them the technical and artistic side. "The idea is to give to them all the tools... to educate people about the realities of the families," Montes said.
 
The project should wrap up in April, Montes said. Centro Presente is looking for donations of film cameras and accessories; contact brosa@cpresente.org or 617-629 4731.

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Supporters of UFCW Local 1445 braved rainy conditions.

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