Tears, Race & Bullets is a multichannel video installation that appropriates newsreel images from Cuba’s Noticiero ICAIC Latinoamericano (ICAIC Latin American Newsreel) that highlight the struggles of the Black Panther Party against racism. Launched in 1960 and produced weekly until 1990 by the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry (ICAIC), the Newsreel documented on 35mm film the revolutionary movements of Cuba and the so-called “Third World”.
Released in August 1968 at the peak of the Party’s popularity, this monothematic newsreel episode omits narrative in favour of an eclectic montage of stills images, TV and newsreel footage, satirical commentary, and a compelling soundtrack. It touches upon issues of repression, resistance to police brutality, the militarization of police forces, and the controversial use of tear gas against civilian populations, issues that continue to resonate today.
Tears, Race & Bullets is the second in a series of installations by the artist that explore the documentary heritage of Latin America as reflected on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register. Established in 1992, the Register is an international initiative dedicated to protecting the world’s documentary heritage.
𝑇ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑤𝑜𝑟𝑘 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑝𝑟𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑐𝑒𝑑 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑠𝑢𝑝𝑝𝑜𝑟𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐶𝑖𝑡𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝑇𝑜𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑟𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝑇𝑜𝑟𝑜𝑛𝑡𝑜 𝐴𝑟𝑡𝑠 𝐶𝑜𝑢𝑛𝑐𝑖𝑙, 𝐿𝑎 𝐵𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑒 𝑉𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑜, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝐶𝑖𝑛𝑒𝑚𝑎𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑞𝑢𝑒 𝑜𝑓 𝐶𝑢𝑏𝑎.
Jorge Ayala-Isaza is a media artist whose practice explores archival and historical research for the creation of non-fiction transmedia narratives that currently focus on issues of memory, resistance, migration, and Latin American revolutionary iconography.
Ayala-Isaza is currently based in Toronto (Canada) where he pursues doctoral studies in Media and Design Innovation while working as a digital media producer and consultant. He has studied at the Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart, Freie Universität in Berlin, and worked as intern at the Cinematheque of Cuba. He spends studio time in Cartagena (Colombia) and Havana (Cuba).