Cómo Vivimos

by Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz

French Camp’s Migrant Family Housing Center in California’s Central Valley, is home to 100 Mexican-American families whose careers are dedicated to tending California’s economic engine: agriculture. Yet, due to an antiquated set of policies, families must uproot their lives every December, move out of their apartments, remove their children from school, and travel 2,000 miles back to Mexico for at least three months. Despite U.S. citizenship and decades of contributions, this annual forced migration obstructs families’ ability to participate fully as citizens. 

Cómo Vivimos is, on one hand, a sociological analysis of state power and of the construction of  second-class citizenship through bureaucratic machinery. But the film’s point-of-view is grounded in the experiences of resident families. Through two full seasons in Artesi II, we’ll observe as families cultivate an alternative sense of belonging through ritual and community.  

Read more about the issues facing youth in Artesi II: here 

Work sample of Cómo Vivimos: https://vimeo.com/504246486/48c8808be7

“As an immigrant to the United States myself, I’m inherently interested in questions of belonging and citizenship. At the Artesi II Migrant Family Housing Center, I connected with a powerful community who assert their identities while daily negotiating institutions and structures which implicitly code access. Part of the work of the film is to participate in public dialogue which holds that citizenship isn’t a binary but a continuum. And if we limit political discussions about immigration policies to questions of citizenship, we’re not necessarily advancing equitable access to the promises of citizenship such as education, social mobility, generational wealth, and belonging.”

Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz, Documentary Filmmaker