4:15 – 5:00
10th Film TRADITIONAL GARIFUNA COOKING
By Cheryl Noralez
The Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United, Inc. is proud to announce the Traditional Garifuna Cooking hosted by actor Theodore Mark Martinez, featuring Ms. Vilma Mercy Lambey as the Garifuna chef, one of Seine Bight’s most respected Garifuna cooks. We want to preserve the Garifuna culture through its culinary art.
Cheryl L. Noralez was born in Punta Gorda Town, Toledo District in Belize, Central America. She was raised with her grandmother in the Garifuna village of Seine Bight and at the early age of four, she migrated to Los Angeles, California with her parents. She is married to Rony Figueroa and has two children Jaleesa and Isani. She is currently pursuing her education in cultural anthropology at California State University, Long Beach. She works full time as a psychiatric rehabilitation practitioner.
Cheryl considers herself a proud Garifuna American who prides herself as an activist and promoter of the Garifuna culture. She conceived the idea of Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United when she realized that there was a need in the community to re-acculturate and preserve the Garifuna culture for future generations here in America. Cheryl’s dream has always been to open a Garifuna Cultural and Learning Center in Los Angeles, California. She believes that once Garinagu have their own Cultural Center, more can be done towards preserving the traditional Garifuna, beliefs, values and heritage.
As president and founder of Garifuna American Heritage Foundation United, Inc., she has had the opportunity to showcase her rich culture through its Annual Garifuna Community Forum held in different colleges and universities around Los Angeles, California and The Bronx and Brooklyn, New York: LA Southwest College, Medgar Evers College, Cal State University, Los Angeles and Cal State University Northridge.
Under her leadership, GAHFU, Inc. has been able to establish The Garifuna Language & Culture Academy which has been operating since 2005, first at Maabatuwa Cultural Center and now at The Blazer Learning Center in Los Angeles. GAHFU has also participated in the Annual Central American Parade organized by COFECA for five consecutive years showcasing the culture, music and pride of being Garifuna. In 2010, Cheryl spearheaded the Garifuna American Heritage Awards to honor the influential leaders in the community . GAHFU, Inc. takes pride in promoting Garifuna musicians and singers from the diaspora by showcasing the these talented individuals and groups including: Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective, El Ballet Nacional Folklorico Garifuna de Honduras, Hechun Garinagu, just to mention a few.
Cheryl L. Noralez has received numerous awards from The Central American Studies Program at Cal State University Northridge, The Belize Consulate General of Los Angeles, The St. Vincent & The Grenadines Consulate General of Los Angeles, Honduras Consulate General of Los Angeles, The California and the New York State Assembly.
11th Film UNTIL THE LAST DROP: MAKWEKWE’s JOURNEY INTO THE FUTURE OF LAKE TURKANA
By Katja Becker
Makwekwe is an up-and-coming Kenyan Hiphop artist and son of the peaceful El Molo tribe- the smallest ethnic group in Kenya. Today, the El Molo people number roughly 500 people, who stick to their traditional way of life and speak their own language. They live on the shores of Lake Turkana in northern Kenya- the world’s biggest desert lake and home to ~300,000 people, mostly from the pastoralist Turkana tribe.
The film follows Makwekwe on his impressive journey through the dramatic landscape of the region to learn more about the importance of the lake for his community and their neighbors, because in 2017, their lake is rapidly disappearing. The recently finished Gibe 3 hydroelectric dam in Ethiopia pulls water from the Omo River, upon which Lake Turkana depends for 85% of its inflow. Lakeside communities are watching the waterline retreat, which puts their life in danger. More alarmingly, he learns that there are 2 more dams scheduled to pull water from the same river to cultivate export sugar and cotton.
How will the future of the Omo River and Lake Turkana communities look when their lifeline has vanished? Makwekwe believes he has found the answer when he visits Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp. Upon seeing the communities permanently living there as regional war refugees, he knows that a camp like this would mean the end of his people’s way of life. As an artist, his response is his music. As an El Molo, his hope is that his songs will carry a message of salvation.
12th Film JANE AND THE WOLF
by Nadine Arpin
Jane & the Wolf is a hybrid documentary that incorporates cinéma vérité, archival photographs and animation.
In the 1960s, Pagwa River was a booming railroad town populated by 2nd generation Crees. During one cold winter, the community was being stalked by a lone wolf. Every attempt to kill the wolf failed. Jane recognized the wolf as a spirit sign from the ancestors. Ridiculed for her beliefs, Jane set out alone to killing the wolf using the old ways.
Narrated by Jane’s Great Granddaughter Rachel Garrick, Jane’s story is interwoven with Rachel’s own journey to bring her mother Minnie Garrick to her final resting place. Minnie was a storyteller, a survivor, and a woman who reclaimed her life despite many personal challenges. Minnie had passed on the story of Jane to Rachel at a time in her life when Rachel most needed to hear about the strength that is inherent in their family.
Q & A with Filmmaker (via Skype)