The Center for Documentary Studies’ Summer Migrant Project led to the formal founding of Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF) in 1992, establishing a new model for blending advocacy with documentary expression. Though the organizations are wholly independent, the sharing of office space and origins led to the creation of a groundbreaking collaborative project in 2006.
In Nuestras Historias, Nuestros Sueños / Our Stories, Our Dreams, CDS and SAF collected stories about the experiences of Latino immigrants, illuminating their reasons for coming to this country and the obstacles they face once they arrive. In particular the project focuses on farmworker families in the Carolinas and their dreams for the future; on their traditions, their educational aspirations, and their challenges as they try to pursue higher education. This formula, rooted in documentary experience and expression, challenged students to sensitively discover ways to reveal the stories of farmworker lives.
Resulting in a book, a traveling exhibition, and a multimedia website, Nuestras Historias, Nuestros Sueños / Our Stories, Our Dreams is an engaging example of using the documentary arts to amplify marginalized voices.