Pan Am Public Art: Art Across Borders Artist

Beatriz Flores & Sonia Malfa

Project: On Women’s Recipes, 16 mm film and 10 x 15 ft. painted mural from film images

Site 4: Asarese Center at Grant Street and Bradley

On Women’s Recipes is a project with two production phases: film and mural. Cinema verité techniques was used to document several different women’s daily production of food. Stills from the 16mm film comprise a collage-like mural of images that "addresses the richness of women’s cross-cultural culinary creativity." In order "to capture the impact of their culture’s food on the American experience," the women represent unique ethnic merits of African-American, Iroquois, Mexican, and Puerto Rican cuisine.

The aesthetics of food preparation, as well as the sociological rituals that are passed from one generation to the next, are addressed in this documentary. Themes include "Preparations," "Memory/Ritual," "Tradition/Unity," and "Ethno-Gastronomic Experience."

Collaborators Beatriz Flores and Sonia Malfa have many years’ experience in 16mm film and video production on social documentary and creative subjects. Ms. Flores additionally has radio experience, such as being co-producer of the award- winning, 28-minute radio documentary, Serious Humor in 1998-99. Last year she directed and produced People’s Radio, a 45-minute documentary on free speech. She was the sound recordist on the 1998 documentary, Beca de Gilas—Rebeca’s Story, which was screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Two of her thirteen projects created over the past eight years are Filminimo and Simon, both shorts shown at the Latino Film Festival.

Ms. Flores finished her Cinema studies in San Francisco, she collaborated in several 16mm film productions that have screened at the Latino, and San Francisco International Film Festival, her own experimental "Filmínimo" screened at the Latino Film Festival. Beatriz has collaborated in the production of documentaries dealing with "Rape, Domestic Violence, Dying, Racism, and Sustainable Agriculture"; She has also directed and produced other titles including, "Wondering Jewess" about a Yemenite poet struggling to maintain her identity in the USA, "Serious Humor"(award-winning radio documentary), and "People's Radio" about free speech. Beatriz Flores is currently pursuing her MAH degree on Media and American Studies at SUNY at Buffalo where she also teaches 16mm film production.

Sonia Malfa received a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Master of Arts in American and Intercultural Studies from the University of Buffalo. Presently she is working in freelance video production and consultanting. Malfa began in video with her first major work, La Sangre Llama, a documentary about Puerto Rican musical culture in Buffalo. Additional works include Cambio and, Planned Parenthood's Teen Reality Theatre. La Sangre Llama screened at the Women in the Director's Chair International Film and Video Festival, and broadcast locally on WNED-Ch17 (PBS). She is the recipient of several artist awards including: the Arts Council in Buffalo and Erie County CIP Individual Artist Grant and the Niagara Council of the Arts Video Production Grant. In addition to teaching, Malfa has developed and coordinated a six-week residency program for the Bambara-Lorde Summer Institute, in which five artists partnered with not-for-profit organizations on a community project.

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