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SAN YUAN LI — a village trapped within a city





The San Yuan Li Project

People’s Architecture and MediaNoche present SAN YUAN LI, a village trapped within the city of Guangzhou. The video will be projected on the handball court wall in White Park, framed by the urban landscape of Spanish Harlem, a district trapped in its own storm of social and economic change. Please come Wednesday, July 19, at 8:30PM. There will be a Q&A with some of the artists who will be arriving from Beijing this week. SAN YUAN LI, 44 minutes, directed by Ou Ning and Cao Fei.

China is a country with one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Adding to the population shift, from country to city, are startling urban developments and re-distributions of wealth that boggle the imagination by the sheer magnitude and speed of change. At the blink of an historical eye, great rivers are dammed for power, farmlands choked into highways, and trees dwarfed by gargantuan skyscrapers.

Armed with videocameras, twelve artists respond to this tsunami of economic transformation by recording the unchecked growth of Guangzhou and the besieged village of San Yuan Li whose people valiantly resisted the British attempt to turn them into junkies (opium eaters) during the Opium Wars of the 19th Century.

In the new millennium, progress threatens to vanquish the people of San Yuan Li. Modernization and expansion have been so rapid that the village is trapped within the sprawl of neighboring Guangzhou. Walled in by surrounding office towers and outnumbered by their yuppy neighbors, the villagers try to conduct their lives as usual.

Thriving on subsistence farming and traditional crafts, the villagers move to a different rhythm and perhaps heart rate. They creatively reinvent customary forms of farming, tending rice paddies on what are now empty city lots, growing chickens in coops on terraces, and cultivating fruits and vegetables on rooftops in makeshift terrariums.

Ou Ning and Cao Fei, the directors of SAN YUAN LI, worked with a team of twelve artists documenting the architecture and life in both San Yuan Li and Guangzhou. In a highly stylized, and impressionistic Koyaanisqatsi-type video, the paradox of economic growth and marginalization that is so much a part of China today is revealed.

The outdoor screening of San Yuan Li in Spanish Harlem reframes the problems confronting the Chinese village within the context of this community’s struggle against gentrification. San Yuan Li and Spanish Harlem may be on opposite sides of the planet but they are both bearing the brunt of a brutish capital.

Ou Ning and Cao Fei
Cao Fei (born in 1978) and Ou Ning (born in 1969) are award-winning film and video artists living in Guangzhou, China. Western audiences have long been acquainted with their work through a series of exhibitions and performances at Hamburg’s Center for Contemporary Art in Kampnagel, and Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart and the New Society for Visual Arts (NGBK). The San Yuan Li Project was presented at the 50th Biennale in Venice in 2004 as part of the “Zona d’Urgenza” exhibition curated by Hou Hanru. Their new Beijing project is based on The San Yuan Li Project.

People’s Architecture is a multi-disciplinary forum for the exchange of ideas, with the goal of facilitating a better global understanding of China’s architectural, infrastructural, cultural and economic development. People’s Architecture brings together perspectives from a range of disciplines-from design to linguistics to social science-in a series of public lectures, publications, exhibitions, and collaborative projects.

MediaNoche is a project of whose mission is to empower community through technology. MediaNoche offers residencies and exhibition space to artists working in new media, and seeks to connect Spanish Harlem to all parts of the world that recognize its long history of music, art, film, poetry and dance. MediaNoche_WiFi makes internet access available on East 106th Street and White Park for free. We invite new media artists to interact with our community by creating projects on the street or park. Come play!

Funding for our programs is provided by NYFoundation, NYSCA, DCA, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, NYS Senator Jose Serrano and NYC Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Directions to the Handball Court in White Park, across the street from MediaNoche: Take the IRT #6 train uptown to 103 Street. Walk three blocks up, turn right. White Park is directly across the street from MediaNoche on East 106th Street, between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.

The San Yuan Li Project


A Festival of Puerto Rican Culture

New Yorks City’s own Boricua Roots Music Crew; Tato Torres & YERBABUENA bring their contagious Urban Boricua Roots Vibes & Rhythms to Celebrate Brooklyn!’s annual Boricua Festival, a celebration of Puerto Rican Culture at the Prospect Park Bandshell, this year featuring an all-day lineup headlined by the Puerto Rican salsa giants SONORA PONCEÑA and boasting the return of the one and only King of Latin Soul, JOE BATAAN, Tato Torres & YERBA BUENA, GRUPO LATIN VIBE, THE CAMACHO BROTHERS, and the STARLIGHT DANCE STUDIO YOUTH DANCERS.

Saturday, July 29, 2pm – 9pm
Cost: $3 sug. donation
(718) 855-7882

Sonora Poncena Joe Bataan
Grupo Latin Vibe

Talk with makers of “Ladrones y mentirosos”




(Spanish, English subtitles)

Wednesday, July 26, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Reception with live music by Grupo Coco Rico, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Screening of film excerpts, discussion and Q&A, 7:30pm – 9pm

161 East 106th Street, First Floor
(between Lexington and Third Avenues)

This Wednesday, July 26, at 6:30 PM, MediaNoche will host a reception for the filmmakers and leading actors of the award-winning Puerto Rican film Thieves and Liars (Ladrones y Mentirosos). Poli Marichal and Ricardo Méndez Matta, who co-wrote and co-directed the controversial film, will be present along with three of their stars: Cuban actor Steven Bauer (Scarface, Traffic), Dominican percussionist Isidro Bobadilla (Juan Luis Guerra y 440), and Puerto Rican newcomer Magda Rivera. Judith Escalona, Director of MediaNoche, will moderate a discussion with the filmmakers and cast that will include previewing scenes from the film and a Q&A.

Thieves and Liars tells the story of three families caught in a web of government corruption and drug trafficking. Much in the manner of Traffic, Marichal and Méndez Matta draw a connection between the two. According to Mendez Matta: “The fact that high level corruption and increased drug trade both surfaced at exactly the same time cannot be a coincidence.”


The film won a “Best Director” award at the Phoenix Film Festival and will screen twice during the New York International Latino Film Festival: Thursday, July 27, 8pm, at Imaginasian Theater; and Sunday, July 30, 6pm, at Florence Gould Hall.

For information about the film, visit For information about the festival (and to purchase tickets), visit Grupo Coco Rico is a Latin music band performing classic salsa, bolero and son-cubano.

Directions to MediaNoche: Take the IRT #6 train uptown to 103 Street. Walk three blocks up, turn right on East 106th Street. MediaNoche is between Lexington and 3rd Avenues.

Opening Night CIRCA Puerto Rico ’06


CIRCA Puerto Rico ’06

The First International Art Fair in the Caribbean

At the Puerto Rico Convention Center San Juan

Opening Night – May 25, 2006

Roberto J. Nieves, President Anabelle Lampón, Executive Director Elvis Fuentes and Celina Nogueras Cuevas, Artistic Directors Celia Sredni de Birbragher, Paco Barragán and Fernando E. Gutiérrez, Consultants

Deadline for Exhibitor Applications: March 27, 2006

Circa Puerto Rico ’06, the first international art fair in the Caribbean, will launch on May 25 – 28, 2006, at the new Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan. The fair will feature some 100 exhibitors from Puerto Rico, Latin America, the United States and Europe.

Scheduled to occur shortly after arteBA, the Buenos Aires art fair, and opening on the heels of the Latin American art auctions in New York, CIRCA Puerto Rico ’06 will bring the best of Modern and contemporary art to a local and international audience of collectors. It will be the first and only art fair of its kind in the Caribbean and Central America, where an important group of collectors has emerged in the past few years, in response to the region’s burgeoning and dynamic artistic community and prominent museums and galleries.

For galleries who wish to apply, please visit or contact:
CIRCA Puerto Rico
Portfolio FIAC, Inc.
Drive-In Plaza 2135 Carr. #2
PMB 455 Suite 15
Bayamon, PR 00959-5259

Tel. +1 787 279 7675
Fax. +1 787 797 4502

Deadline for Applications: March 27, 2006
A committee will then gather to select a final list of exhibitors, which will be made public before April 1st.

“La Marca del Zorrillo” at Handball Court Summer Film Festival




East 106th Street, between Lexington and Third Avenues

This summer, MediaNoche’s Handball Court Summer Film Festival will present vintage films that screened in Spanish Harlem four decades ago. While today not a single theater remains, there once were six within a 20 block radius of the handball court on East 106th Street: The Azteca on 102nd Street and Madison Avenue, The Eagle on Third Avenue, between 102nd and 103rd Streets, La Estrella on 107th and Lexington Avenue, El Paraiso (El Meito) on Madison Avenue and 116th Street, the Cosmos on 116th Street, between Third and Lexington Avenues, and The Sun on Third Avenue and 118th Street. During their heyday, they were multipurpose theaters where film screenings were scheduled along with live performances.

These theaters showcased an international roster of actors, singers and other entertainers from the Caribbean and Latin America, appealing to the tastes of the Puerto Rican diaspora which by the sixties had become a significant market for Latino entertainment in the Northeast. The vintage films reflect a long term relationship between the Puerto Rican community and its Latin American entertainers. Lucha Libre films, the Mexican genre featuring a wrestler as superhero, for example, are fondly remembered by Spanish Harlem residents — and currently satirized in the new Hollywood film Nacho Libre. In addition, films shot in Spanish Harlem will also be featured.

La Marca del Zorrillo

July 1 — Santo contra Capulina, comedy in Spanish
July 8 — Tin Tan’s La Marca del Zorrillo, comedy in Spanish
July 15 — The Pawnbroker, drama in English
July 22 — Ansiedad,
drama in Spanish with Pedro Infante and Libertad Lamarque
July 29 — Our Latin Thing, musical concert in Spanish with English subtitles
August 5 — Cantinflas’ Romeo y Julieta, comedy in Spanish
August 12 — Santo contra las mujeres vampiros, drama in Spanish
August 19 — Popi, drama in English
August 26 — Crossover Dreams, drama in English

For more information call: 212.828.0401 or email

MediaNoche is a project of We reserve the right to modify the film program without prior notice.
Program notes by Judith Escalona, Film Curator — ©jescalona2006 All Rights Reserved

FILIBERTO: Entrevista Clandestina

Join the RICANSTRUCTION NETWERK for a special screening of:
FILIBERTO: Entrevista Clandestina
(an interview conducted with the leader of the Macheteros when he was in clandestinity in the 1990s)

on Friday, June 23d at 7:30PM


DeBurgos-Woodbey-Pietri People’s Cafe
339 Lafayette Street (top floor/ring buzzer 11)
(corner Bleecker Street) in Manhattan

This screening will be followed by a conversation with former Young Lord Carlito Rovira on the past, present and future of the Puerto Rican liberation struggle.

for more info: 212-696-6804