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Welcome to the kick off of the Labragirl Pictures, LtdImages Shaping History blog. Labragirl Pictures is a historical and educational film production company nestled in the Rocky Mountains. The driving force behind Labragirl Pictures is the desire to expose lost histories and to explore the way history has been represented in popular culture mediums.

Labragirl Logo Reveal by Labragirl Artist, Ari Feldman.

We firmly believe that images (both still and moving) have a tremendous impact on the way we understand our past and, therefore, these same images influence the way we view and interact with the world around us.  We also believe that the power of images is something that is not discussed nearly enough in either the academic arena or in the public sphere.  Our hope is that the Labragirl Images Shaping History blog will give life to the Labragirl mission by creating a space for conversation and debate about the power of images in our society.

What influence do television, film, and other media images have on our individual perceptions of the world? 

How have television, film, and other media images shaped our collective cultural memory? 

Is our society becoming so super saturated with images that we are losing our critical eye when it comes to examining and processing images? 

The ideas and issues in the above questions will inform and guide the Images Shaping History discussions.

Operating under the principle that a solid and strong discussion must have numerous participants, Images Shaping History will be an active multi-author blog. We have a team of Resident Bloggers that will each contribute his or her individual perspective to the larger Images Shaping History conversation. From time to time we’ll also bring in guest bloggers to add even more dimension to our discussion.

I’m very excited and proud to introduce you to our Labragirl Resident Bloggers. I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked with each of these individuals in the classroom – they are all former students from my time at California State University, Long Beach.

Go Beach!

So, without further adieu .  . . drum roll please. . .

Meet the Labragirl Resident Bloggers:

Declan Murphy

Declan is currently a student at Cal State Long Beach and also owns and operates a photography business, Declan Photography. I met Declan during my final semester teaching at CSULB in an introductory to United States History course. In a sea of students, Declan stood out as a sophisticated and proactive student. What I remember most about Declan from that course was a volunteer presentation about wartime photography that he gave to the class. The passion he has for images and photography was evident.  Declan appeared to have a precocious understanding of his craft and a sophisticated understanding of how to apply his craft to historical analysis. Declan’s passion for photography and the ability to create and manipulate images is what will define his blog discussions. His first blog post will focus on images of civilians during wartime; Declan will look at a World War II image from both a Japanese photographer and an American photographer.

Rene Hernandez

Rene is a historian and a Marine veteran who brings an intelligent and thoughtful voice to the Images Shaping History blog. I had the opportunity to work with Rene in several classes at CSULB. What always stood out about Rene to me was his natural talent for historical discussion and analysis.  It was also evident that Rene had a tremendous amount of respect for the academic process. Simply put, Rene is a natural. You’ll see what I am talking about in contributions to Images Shaping History. Rene is interested in the representations of the military in film. His first post will focus on Full Metal Jacket and the film’s representation of Marines.

Eric Winter

Eric is currently a teacher and a soccer coach.  This career path seems only fitting to me because what I remember most about Eric is his ability to explain difficult concepts effectively.  Oftentimes, when Eric saw his peers struggling with abstract and complex historical theories he would chime in and explain a difficult point in a straightforward and digestible fashion.  Eric is interested in exploring political and historical representations in film as well as discussing the ideas of bias and point of view in filmmaking.

Marilyn Hernandez

I have found that it’s often the students who are most reticent to speak in class that actually have the most insightful ideas to offer a discussion. Marilyn is a perfect example.  Although it was clear Marilyn was actively listening to the abstract discussions in our Theory & History course, it was like pulling teeth to get her to participate.  Then, one day she spoke and she contributed some of the most brilliant and insightful points.  Now, there’s no stopping her. Marilyn is bright, poised, and has a strong artistic voice.  With a strong passion for the arts and an interest in the representations of Latinas in film, Marilyn will be anything but quiet on the Images Shaping History blog.

Cynthia Vicario

Cynthia is a proud mother, educator, and activist. I first met Cynthia in a Theory & History class. In nearly a decade of teaching, Cynthia could be the most passionate student I’ve come across. The issues of history, access to education, geo-political issues, and community development fuel her desire to educate and discuss. Cynthia will discuss geo-political issues, the representation of Latinos in film, and community issues in Los Angeles in her Images Shaping History blog contributions.

And last but not least – me:

Laurie Chin Sayres

I’m a filmmaker and educator who is superlatively passionate about images and education. I’m also the  Founder/Creative Director of Labragirl Pictures, Ltd. My contributions to Images Shaping History will focus on historical education and the methodology of historical and film analysis.

Thank you very much for your time and we hope that you follow along with us on our Images Shaping History journey.

What topics would you like to discuss? Do you believe film images are important? Do you think that images have any influence in shaping the way we all understand history? Do you have a favorite movie?

Until next time. . .

Sincerely,

Laurie

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