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Victoria Bouloubasis  just try it. 🐽 journalist, food writer & doc filmmaker. @indyweek food editor. @theIWMF Adelante fellow. Durham NC (mostly)


No filter. Just a real gotdang rainbow + unicorn sighting. I’m incredibly inspired by and proud of this brave woman. Caitlin published a beautiful and difficult photo essay today, “A Letter to My Rapist,” in @indyweek. Please read it. “It's funny. Everyone says not to talk about your sexual assault. But for me, telling my story has become more than a healing experience. It's shown me a new layer of myself that I hadn't known existed. By telling others my story, I've been able to reflect on who I am—and to be a light in other people's lives. By being vulnerable, I can help them heal, too.” ❤️✊🏼

With national attention largely focused on the Latinx undocumented immigrant experience, more than half a million black undocumented residents are often overlooked—especially within the African-American community. "If I say 'undocumented,' they don't know what that means," @firstnamemballa says. "I have to say 'illegal,' which I don't like. But people know what an 'illegal immigrant' is. In the song, I tried to flip it. We're being treated illegally, what you're doing is illegal." (Show this Friday at @motorcomh!)

#Repost @indyweek
Mballa Mendouga is an incredible musician with an even more incredible story. Check out @thisfeedsme story in this week’s issue. 📸: @caitlinpennaphoto

Today Trump ended T.P.S. for Salvadorans, which will strip nearly 200,000 people of work permits that they’ve had since 1990. And it will strip them of a life of dignity and from their families. By 2019, ICE will begin deporting parents and workers back to the most murderous country in the world. I took this photo in El Salvador in the Salmerons’ kitchen. The farming family subsists from the dairy and cheese they produce. The grandparents have tourist visas, but a grandson was deported, and now the parents in North Carolina have lost their protected status. This beautiful lunch is a remnant of what’s left in a country marred by gang violence. The Salmerons survived a brutal civil war, imprisonment in American detention, and poverty. But they continue to live in fear in both countries. Their dairy profits have been slashed since gangs took over their village in San Miguel, El Salvador. The deported teen can’t take the cows out to pasture anymore without being followed by masked men. Now the remaining family in NC must decide whether to return to nothing or stay here, living in the shadows, half-safe. More soon in an upcoming @indyweek story. #iwmffellows

This video was taken at City Plaza in Athens, Greece in August. In April 2016, activists broke the locks of the shuttered hotel and turned it into a completely autonomous community for 400 refugees, the majority of them children, who live there with dignity despite their lives in limbo. At least 9 languages are spoken there. Kids were running around practicing Greek and English with me, shouting nicknames and punchlines at each other in Arabic and Farsi. I had never seen such a pure example of solidarity among a group of people—war refugees, economic migrants, and Greeks without work alike—that felt so powerful despite its complications. On that trip back to Greece, which felt very selfish, I kept running into shocks of bright pink in the dusty city flanked by blue wild sea. It felt energizing, hopeful, a reminder that our experiences are bigger than just ourselves. .

I spent the afternoon of New Year’s eve writing thank-you notes. (New year, same me, though. Y’all will most likely get them in March 😬.) 2017, you were a wild one. Thank you for gutting me. I learned to question everything. I learned to keep an open heart. I was reminded of the dark truths in this very fucked up world, and am forever grateful for and changed by the people who bared their souls, their secrets, their pain, and their dreams with me so we could share the stories and fight it all together. My amazing inspirations in work and life became my friends, badass women who I could never thank enough for lending me their time, their brilliance, their collaboration. On a very personal level, I learned to depend on people. I learned to listen to my body, and found a (badass woman) doctor who I could trust. My family and friends reminded me I don’t have to do everything by myself (despite my best efforts to). Thank you to my angel of a mother and my friends who kept me fed and nourished during a couple scary months, who visited, who sent treats from NY and the UK and had abuelitas lighting candles from Texas to Colombia. My only resolution this year is to pay it forward with as much love, attention, support and presence I can muster for my people. Y’all deserve it. We all do.



Today we launch the trailer and website for the upcoming documentary short Santuario.

This film follows the story of Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, a Guatemalan grandmother who was threatened with deportation after 24 years of living in the US and, instead, chose to take sanctuary at a North Carolina church. We are filled with hope, sadness, and joy as we share this with you and know that Juana will be spending the holidays in sanctuary.

Since May, our film team has been following Juana’s progress, with the open doors of St Barnabas Episcopal Church and her family allowing us to document their experience. We invite you to watch the trailer, share, and follow as we help to raise awareness about Juana’s story. santuariofilm.com

This has been an amazing team to work with: directors @calexdelp10 & @pilita, film & production @bridgettecyr, me, @blairejohnsondp, @katherine.g, with generous funding from @tribecafilmins IF/Then Short Documentary program. 🙏

Backseat photography, racing through San Salvador rush hour. Sept. 2017 #tbt

Y’all like it crispy 👊🏼

M8alla on the set of her new music video “Fickle” 💅🏿

Wildin David Guillen Acosta is on his way to Charlotte for what could be his last court date, hoping to have his asylum case heard. “I’m a little worried because this judge is very difficult. My mom has told me to pray. [...] If I go back to Honduras people will kill me.” In the couple years I’ve known Wildin, who’s always been composed and optimistic, today is the first time I’ve ever heard his voice shake. But he’s in better spirits right now on the ride; he found Honduran tamales for sale in a Durham parking lot. (I don’t know what’s more American—that, or how he’s swapped the Honduran slang “maje” for the Mexican version, “guey.”) I’ll be live tweeting from Charlotte starting around noon. @indyweek

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