6-9 July 2017

SoMapagmahal is presenting at the national Free Minds, Free People conference this week in Baltimore, Maryland! SoMapagmahal is a play on the acronym "SoMa" (South of Market of San Francisco) and "mapagmahal" (a Tagalog- Filipino adjective describing someone who is loving, caring and empathetic). The program engages middle school student participants of the Galing Bata Afterschool Program at Bessie Carmichael Filipino Education Center Pre K-8 (BCFEC) to use photography as a tool for self and community advocacy. This past spring, SoMapagmahal’s curriculum pioneered and triangulated cultural, site-specific and social justice for San Francisco's youth to express themselves through 35mm photography, telling their resilient stories of living and going to school in the SoMa.

SoMapagmahal is organized in part by UC San Diego alumni, Erina C. Alejo and Diana Li along with fellow collaborators and teaching artists Derek Macario, Irwin Simpelo and Dara Del Rosario. Their commitment to community organizing and the arts as well as their individual experiences with diaspora and place have greatly informed their practice. Together, they have created a program that uses photography to center student narratives, social justice activism and arts mxntorship.

SoMapagmahal previously presented at the Museum of African Diaspora through the Creative Practice Exchange. The program has also garnered support from Southern Exposure's Alternative Exposure grant and the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center for the 20th Annual United States of Asian America Festival: Threading Resilience (sponsored by the San Francisco Arts Commission and Grants for the Arts). With a grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, SoMapagmahal is also able to present at Free Minds, Free People!

Loyola University Maryland, 4501 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21210

Image is courtesy of Artist Diana Li.