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CLACS Women Empowerment Series - Hermanas en Ruedas: A Screening and Talk on Feminism and Skateboarding in Cuba

Monday, March 27, 6:30 p.m.

King Juan Carlos Center, Auditorium, 53 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012 (map)


CLACS Women Empowerment Series Presents: Hermanas en Ruedas a film about Cuba's underground skate scene and the young women challenging the status quo. The film will be followed by a conversation with the film's director Amberly Alene Ellis and co-producer Luna Olavarria Gallegos. This event is co-sponsored with NACLA.

About the film:

In 2015, Film For The People Productions began filming Hermanas en Ruedas (Sisters on Wheels)  led by Director Amberly Alene Ellis and  Co-Producer Luna Olavarria Gallegos. Since the release of the trailer, Hermanas en Ruedas has received international coverage from outlets including VICE Sports, VICE-ID, Huck Magazine, VIBE, and Remezcla. Hermanas en Ruedas ventures into a country in the midst of major socio-political change to continue conversations around gender, sexuality and autonomy. Through the underground skate scene, the film questions the future of Cuban subcultures and technology amidst a backdrop of international exchanges and a drastic shift in U.S and Cuba relations.

What makes the young women of Hermanas en Ruedas so special is that Cuba, unlike other countries where skateboarding has emerged, has no official or professional skateboard industry. Additionally, Cuba has yet to see the opening of an official skate park since the emergence of the sport on the island. Such circumstances create unique challenges to skaters in Cuba, but their talent, preservation and innovation defy the odds. As skate collectives emerge around the world, the young women of Havana's skate scene seek to be recognized as a contending force.


About the filmmakers:


Amberly Alene Ellis is an independent filmmaker, writer and documentarian dedicated to the belief that film is one of our greatest tools to ignite deeper human connection and inspire social change. In 2015 she created Film For The People Productions. Her 2014 documentary Bullets Without Names was selected as an installation at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore to bring awareness to gun violence and was also nominated for Best Documentary at the American Vision's Awards. She was the recipient of a 2014 Tinker Grant to research cinema and social policy in Cuba at ICAIC, the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry. In 2016 she was awarded a Ruby Artist Grant from the Baltimore Cultural Alliance to film the journeys of ten African American youth from West Baltimore as they travel to Havana Cuba to learn African history. Her writing examines issues of race, gender and culture in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Luna Olavarría Gallegos is a multimedia journalist originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and currently based in New York City. She is a documentarian and writer, and through her work she seeks to create resistance archives that work in opposition to violent narratives. Her written pieces about the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, labor and art, have been published in outlets including, The Guardian, The FADER and StopBeingFamous. Luna currently is a producer forRe:Construcción, an oral history exhibition about the 1980s El Salvadoran armed conflict. She presented her research on New Mexican colonialism at Havana’s HOMINIS conference in May, 2016. ​

Hermanas en Ruedas (HD) from Amberly Alene Ellis on Vimeo.


This event is free and open to the public. ID is required to enter the building.