Videos by La Santa Cecilia and Helado Negro that Deal with the Immigration Experience

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, April 30, 2013 08:35pm | Post a Comment

La Santa Cecilia will be performing at Amoeba San Francisco on Thursday, May 5th in celebration of their latest release, Trienta Dias.

There are two videos that caught my interest of late, dealing with the subject of immigration. One is overt and the other, a bit subtle. The first is a video from La Santa Cecilia from their new album, Treinta Dias. The song "El Hielo" (ICE) The video shows the daily lives of various undocumented immigrants as they go on their daily routine of getting ready for work and school, living in the shadows in order not to be detected. The tension of the workers as they watch the news of  ICE raids and look at photos of loved ones left behind weigh heavy on their faces. It also shows an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officer also getting ready for work. It's not the usual face one puts on the Immigration officers, rather the new faces of first or second generation Mexican Americans who often work in deporting immigrants. The tension of the video comes to the climax at the end when the work place of several of the immigrants is raided by the ICE force, who look just like the immigrants themselves.



Another video that I found interesting tells a simular story in a different light. Helado Negro's "Dance Ghost" tells the story of that many immigrants in the U.S. have with their almost invisible existence in this country. As the video shows the Miami social life with shots of high rise buildings, club nightlife, Cuban religious ceremonies and even a Jai Alai game, our main character is shown going to work, setting up a club but overall being ignored by the people he is servicing. He is a ghost in Miami, looking at everyone exist and wanting to be a participant, but is never seen or acknowledge. One could say the video is about outsiders in general but we are somewhat led to believe that he is one of the many immigrants of African decent (Haitian, Dominican, Black South American) that works in Miami, a city dominated by mostly whites and Cuban nationals.

In the end, the main character is dancing in an abandoned home all alone, much like a ghost who is trying to remember a previous life.

Helado Negro - Dance Ghost from Asthmatic Kitty on Vimeo.

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Immigration (11), Helado Negro (2), La Santa Cecilia (7), World Music (146)