Immigrant Working Families are Sewing Resilience in the Fast Fashion Industry of L.A.
By Lesly Ayala and Jamie Reniva
About Sewing Resilience
Sewing Resilience is a short film by Artivists Wil Prada and Pea Nuñez about the life of Santa Puac, a mother of three, garment worker, and worker-leader in the movement to end exploitation in the garment industry of Los Angeles, the capital of U.S. garment production. For Puac, organizing for justice is always a family affair because her children are her motivation on her quest to fight for justice. Sewing Resilience premiered, in late 2019, at the UCLA Labor Center as part of the Working Families in Focus photography and film exhibit directed by Los Angeles artists of color to capture the lives of janitors, garment and domestic workers, and their children at their unions or worker centers. Working Families in Focus is an initiative of the Parent Worker Project and was also curated by Wil Prada, UCLA alum, filmmaker, and photographer.
About the Artivist & Filmmaker Wil Prada
For Prada, the film is very personal and uplifts the voices, resilience, and power of immigrant working families. In an interview, Prada said “the film reflects a lot of the stories of people in my family and hits very close to home. My dad at one point had three jobs: he was a dishwasher, he would deliver newspapers, and he worked at the Pizza Hut. Growing up, my mom worked at the Jack in the Box and also did house cleaning.”
Making the film, for Wil, “was an opportunity to uplift and amplify the voices of immigrant parents, the issues they’re going through, and what’s important to them.” Wil explains that “the film dispels myths such as that immigrant parents don’t care about their children’s education and that’s why they don’t go to school meetings. The truth is that they’re working long hours, which makes it hard for them to go to parent meetings.”
To learn more about Prada’s work and how Sewing Resilience came about, you can read the rest of the interview here. You can also check out our recent panel discussion featuring the filmmakers and garment worker activists here.