From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: East Bay | Arts + Action
American “Dream...” Manifest. These babies are first cousins. Aren’t we all¡!
by Elfie & Maia Ballis/SunMt (mail [at]
Monday Jan 23rd, 2006 11:39 AM
American “Dream...” Manifest. These babies are first cousins. Aren’t we all¡!
While photographing & researching for SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) in Mississippi, 1963-64, I met warm, jovial, steadfast small farmer-storekeeper-civil rights activist Vernon Dahmer. I took photographs with him in his cotton fields. We visited on his front porch a few Sunday afternoons when our civil rights actions slowed. The last Sunday before I left Mississippi (August 1964), Vernon abruptly got up. “Wait a minute.” He went inside and came back out with his family picture album. This collage is from the pictures in that album except for the red-ringed photo of Vernon which I made with him... All the rest are his close relatives, as distant as second cousins, dating back to the early 1900s... So who’s black¿? Who’s white¿? Who’s red¿? Who cares¿?

... Six months later, Ku Klux Klan torched Dahmer’s home-store. Vernon was killed by the fire....An uppity “Nigger” lynched by flames...

32 years and 5 trials later, the man who ordered the arson was convicted. Read story of that trial:

George Elfie Ballis, photographer-film maker-organizer

Multimedia — stills, docu-poem videos, music, smellavision — Exhibit:
”Dream What We Can Become & Rejoice,
Soñar Lo Que Podemos Ser y Gozar"
See above plus 104 other black & white images of the farm worker experience, heart-wrenching to inspiring, — from dark oppression to light of hopeful organizing.

Next sheduled opening — Jan. 31, Feb. 1, 2 • 2-7 pm free,
“Dream...” will be at Boalt until May 1, 2006, with the artist present at all openings.
Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley, Room 145,
Laub Lobby, inside main entrance at NE corner of courtyard, second entry off Bancroft downhill from Piedmont.
Photographed, filmed and produced by Geoge Elfie Ballis & Maia Ballis of SunMt Environmental & Multimedia Center • Sponsored by Center for Social Justice, Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley

Dream includes books & posters plus short Docu-Poem Videos & DVDs
on a wide range of social justice issues including:

“We — Rising Up from King’s Legacy to Embrace Peace and Justice” — currrent community actions, music & words amplifying King’s messages into current issues. Broadcast nationally over Free Speech TV. DVD with 14 interactive chapters facilitating classroom effectiveness.
“Campus Peace” — college students in Fresno rising up against cop spying on their meetings. Pieces broadcast over Free Speech TV. DVD with 17 interactive chapters facilitating classroom effectiveness.

See clips from these and other SunMt docu-poems:
— the timeless dance for justice by many people on many issues.

“Very important, heart-wrenching, deep felt. It reminded me
to stay close to my beliefs and push out the barriers of what I can do
to help my brothers and sisters. We all are here together.”

For more info or group reservations mailto:mail [at] • SunMt: 559.855.3710 • cell: 559.472.6496
To see “Dream...” on web and
See archives of Boalt installation