Carren's Pitch

Life by Design

One of the cool things about my work is experimenting with new kinds of contents. This one required audio editing, finding great photos and putting it all together. It took many hours, but the results were well worth it. In the end, we have an archive of precious, historically important memories from the Chicano movement. 

Raul Ruiz, Manuel Barrera, Jr., Patricia Borjon of La Raza | Luis Garza, La Raza photograph collection. Courtesy of UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center
The Chicano Movement wasn't just one segment of the population. It encompassed people of all ages. See their photos and hear photographer Devra Weber speak about them.

Many of the issues that were prevalent in the 1960s and 70s are still present in today's times. Hear how La Raza photorapher Gil Lopez's thoughts on continuing the struggle today.

Police surveillance and infiltration on the youth activists was prevalent. But they weren't the only ones watching, so were the activists. Hear Patricia Borjon Lopez's take on these police activities.

During the turbulence of the 60s and 70s, 35 people were arrested for sitting in a Board of Education meeting. But no trial ever came to being. Hear Raul Ruiz talk about those fateful arrests.

'La Raza,' the community newspaper turned magazine, drew an eclectic mix of people from all walks of life. Hear La Raza photographer Luis Garza talk about his colleagues.

In the 1960s and 70s, photojournalism was used as a technique for organizing and to fight negative streotypes of the Chicano in the media.

The 60s and 70s was a time of many changes and upheavals. Amid all this, the Chicanos saw a way to make a difference. Hear Moctesuma Esparza's thoughts on the turbulent time.

La Raza, the community newspaper-turned-magazine, may have played an important role during the 60s and 70s, but it's legacy is even more important today, for a young generation that have to learn their personal histories.

As part of La Raza magazine, photographer Maria Marquez Sanchez had to choose between being part of the action and ensuring that history wouldn't forget their deeds.

I love stories like this that have a lot of heart and speak to the power of the people. 


Father Luce gives mass | Courtesy of the Church of Epiphany
Nothing signals “Revolution HQ” about the Church of the Epiphany in Lincoln Heights. Its chocolate brown beams, gray-brown stonework and customary ecclesiastical architecture seem standard for a small community church in Lincoln Heights, but if its walls could speak, perhaps they would rally and roar because this place of worship was also a place of resistance in the 1960s and 70s. [read more]

This was such a pleasure to edit. I was basically hungry every time after working on this video. Enjoy!



What to Order Besides Pho

Posted by Carren |

I'm super proud of this video I made because of the generosity of my family. The voice is an authentic Vietnamese one that my brother-in-law's mother graciously lent us and the food is just mouthwatering. At least I'll be able to order some really amazing Vietnamese food with this as a guide :) 


One of the cool side perks of my job these days is learning how to edit. Here's my first one with "Big Bang Theory" actor Kunal Nayyar talking about real Indian restaurants. It was a revelation to hear.


Photo essay: Chicano Redefined

Posted by Carren |

Defining people is by its nature very difficult. In this case, photos do more than words can. 

Text by: Carren Jao
Published: 14 Sept 2017, KCET

When photographer Harry Gamboa Jr. began his portrait series, “Chicano Male Unbonded” in 1991, the word “Chicano” implied guns, drugs and all manner of dangerous things.  “I started the car, turned on the radio and the first thing that went on was an announcement from the news that says to be on the lookout for a Chicano male; he’s dangerous,” recalls Gamboa Jr. in a video with KCET, which is also on view at the Autry Museum of the American West, alongside an exhibition of his long-running project, starting September 16.

That initial statement inspired Gamboa Jr. to seek out Chicano males that went against this prevailing stereotype, men that were lauded in their fields. “What the series achieves is not to give you the correct definition of Chicano male, but to give you nearly one hundred answers to that,” says UCLA professor and curator Chon A. Noriega in the same short film.

Here’s a glimpse of what a Chicano male can be. [read more]

I don't get to write as much because of work, but it was a pleasure to do the interviews and to discover this hidden subculture of cacti right in Los Angeles!

Text: Carren Jao
Edited by: Carla Pineda
Published: 25 August 2017, KCET

Joël Lodé has almost died six to seven times in search of his Holy Grail, a cactus of one kind or another. An author who lives in Spain, Lodé once baked under the cruel summer sun of the Mojave Desert, suffering from a severe heatstroke with only a crude help sign on his bicycle indicating his desperate need for help. Another time, Lodé became perhaps the only tourist to Yemen at the height of a civil war to photograph a plant. His return trip home included braving a sniper-lined city, departing a barricaded airport and listening to the sound of artillery fire. [read more

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