Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of the Americas
Afro-Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando brought her acclaimed documentary and feature work to UNC Chapel Hill as artist-in-residence from April 1-7. During her stay, she screened and spoke to an audience about her most recent films, Roots of My Heart and 1912: Breaking the Silence.
Rolando is best known for films such as Oggun: An Eternal Presence, which explores how the Orisha Oggun, the god of war and peace, metals, and civilization, was experienced in the life of Cuban Yoruba singer Lazaro Ros; My Footsteps in Baragua, a recounting of the history of a West Indian community in Cuba; and Eyes of the Rainbow, a documentary on Assata Shakur, the Black Panther and Black Liberation Army leader who took refuge in Cuba after years of struggles in the United States.
She is also a founding member of Images of the Caribbean, a film collective dedicated to developing projects that focus on Afro-descendant communities in Cuba.
Rolando’s current project is a three-part documentary focusing on the 1912 massacre of the Party of the Independents of Color, a long neglected topic in accounts of Cuban history. She has been working to recover the history of this era through interviews with historians and communities throughout the country.
This documentary project follows her feature film Roots of My Heart, which chronicles a young Afro-Cuban woman’s discovery of her ancestors’ participation in the events of 1912, including the death of her grandfather.
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