Solidarity in Saya is a documentary that tells the inspiring story of how the Afro-Bolivian community uses music as a form of resistance and empowerment. This film explores the little known story of the legacy of the Africans who first arrived as slaves in the Spanish colonial region that would later become Bolivia. Despite facing continuous oppression and marginalization, their community and culture remained resilient and vibrant. Traditional Saya songs were one way that Afro-Bolivians began sharing the stories of their ancestors and their culture, while demanding recognition as members of Bolivian society. What began as informal music groups performing in the streets has grown into a visible and effective movement that has made many social and political achievements. The movement continues onward in the long struggle for equal rights in Bolivia and for recognition around the world.
Maya Tokunaga Jensen is a musician from Chicago who plays upright/electric bass and cello. She has a B.A. from Northwestern University in Cultural Anthropology and International Studies. In 2006, she traveled to Bolivia out of a desire to learn more about the incredible grassroots movements that were happening there. For her undergraduate thesis research, Maya sought an example of how music, as a form of resistance and empowerment and a tool for building solidarity, was playing a role in supporting Bolivian social and political movements. Bolivians introduced her to Afro-Bolivian Saya music and she learned about the community and their political movement. Greatly inspired by the people she met and their stories, after finishing her thesis, Maya went on to create this long-term documentary film project.
36min film, including 50 minutes of “Extras,” with subtitles in English, Portuguese and Japanese, and Spanish/English information booklet.
Union Made Sweat shop free T-Shirts by No Sweat Apparel
Glossy 11″x17″ black ink on white glossy “Solidaridad” poster.
Glossy black ink on white “Solidaridad” Sticker 4″x 4″