<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
 English | Español November 19, 2017 | Issue #31


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“I Live In The Bronx” Documentary Premiers on SalonChingon.com

New Authentic Journalism Site to Feature Video, Audio, Photos and More


By Al Giordano
Narco News School of Authentic Journalism

September 11, 2003

bronx video previewSOMEWHERE IN AMÉRICA, SEPTEMBER 11, 2003: Three skylines: New York, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo, the three largest cities in our hemisphere, click to three languages; English, Spanish, and Portuguese, where a long-plotted addition to the Authentic Journalism renaissance has now uncloaked: the website of Salón Chingón (a loose translation would be “the fucking great salon”) is now online.

Go to http://www.salonchingon.com and, if the country from where you click predominantly speaks one of these three languages, you will automatically be directed to that page. Today, in the Salón Chingón cinema, marks the world wide web premier of a new documentary directed by its stars: residents, mainly schoolchildren, from New York’s “barrio bravo” of the Bronx. The 11-minute 45-second documentary is the means by which people of that borough explain what is happening in their neighborhoods, and includes a revealing interview conducted by schoolchildren of a representative of the New York Police Department, whose statements about drugs and crime in the Bronx contrast radically with the first-person accounts of the residents.


Andrea Daugirdas, at the Zapatista gathering in Oventik, Chiapas, August 2003.
Photo D.R. 2003 by Al Giordano
In the coming days we’ll offer a review of I Live In The Bronx – directed by Lorraine Almodovar, Tyeshia Collen, Timothy Holmes, Caridad Lugo, Jessica Morales, Carolina Polanco, James Osei-Sarpong, and Satin Williams – including the Narco News interview with documentary producer Andrea Daugirdas, graduate of the February 2003 session of the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, now a professor in our current summer session, and a public school kindergarten teacher in the Bronx. The documentary’s editor, Barret Hawes, has co-produced numerous documentaries and films, including for MTV and VH-1.

Daugirdas cites the influence of her sister J-School alum Blanca Eekhout, of Catia TV in Venezuela, as inspiration for the video: The Venezuelan Community TV and radio movement – formerly “pirate” TV and radio, legalized by the Bolivarian Constitution of 1999 – in which the people have taken up arms in the form of video cameras as the model for the creation of this new documentary.


Blanca Eekhout of Venezuela’s Catia TV, in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, February 2003.
Photo D.R. 2003 by Al Giordano
The new salonchingon.com website – hosted by Voxel.net – was designed by Daugirdas and Narco News webmaster Dan Feder, with a “sweat equity” grant from the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism.

More premiers of audio and visual journalism are coming soon to the small screen on Salón Chingón, and not only from its “caracol” capitals of New York, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo, but from all over the continents called América, including from this week’s protests of the World Trade Organization meeting in Cancún…. Stay tuned.

The Backstory

Salón Chingón, a name invented and donated to the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism by February and Summer 2003 alum Zabeth Flores of Mexico City, is the new, improved, title of what was formerly called “an immedia salon,” as outlined in Chapter Twelve of my 1997 work, “The Medium Is the Middleman: For a Revolution Against Media.”

In 2002, after the successful counter-coup by the people (and Authentic Media) of Venezuela, we republished that text on Narco News, with new updates, revisions, and footnotes, announcing plans to open a physical space in a major metropolis somewhere in América: a gallery and workshop in Authentic Journalism and immediate revolution, as well as a site for the already legendary Salón Chingón fiestas which, from Manhattan to Mérida, have been held on a nomadic basis for the cordially invited.

During the February 2003 J-School sessions on Isla Mujeres on the Mexican Caribbean, I donated the domain to the students. It was Daugirdas who, this summer, had the vision and initiative to turn salonchingon.com into a living and breathing experiment in Authentic Journalism. The trio of Daugirdas in New York, Flores in Mexico City, and Narco News Authentic Journalism Scholar Ana Cernov of Sao Paulo, Brazil (who translated the Portuguese section of the new Salón Chingón website), has been inseparable since they met last February on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, and they have taken impressive leadership on this latest project. Flores, former Channel 40 TV reporter and translator at Mexico City’s daily El Universal, has already added Spanish-language subtitles to the Mexico City screening room version of “I Live In The Bronx.” The three have also been involved in producing the upcoming Guerrilla News documentary on Authentic Journalism, “Battleground,” with other stellar collaborators, coming soon to a screen near you. As the weeks go on, you’ll meet more of our collaborators in the latest twist of Authentic Journalism’s long and winding journey.


Andrea Daugirdas, Ana Cernov, Por Esto! publisher Mario Menéndez Rodríguez, and Zabeth Flores, Tixcocob, Yucatán, February, 2003.
Photo D.R. 2003, from the camera of Ana Cernov

The Party Begins

The physical space of Salón Chingón continues, due to the delicate question of poverty, to be nomadic – it pops up here and there, usually on short notice – but events will soon be held in various corners of Our América. First up: November 4th in New York City, the night before the Biennial Drug Policy Alliance convention in Newark, November 5 to 8, begins, to which Authentic Journalists, artists, actors, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, drug policy reform activists, and independent media producers will be cordially invited. The honored guests will be two Authentic Journalism Scholarship winners who will be chosen to attend the previous weekend’s workshop, “Authentic Journalism, Latin America, and the Drug War,” October 31 to November 2, at the Rowe Conference Center in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. (Deadline for applications is September 21st; for an application write to jschool@narconews.com )

If you would like to participate in the Salón Chingón online gallery, cinema, and related projects, or have work you think serves as a model for the Authentic Journalism Renaissance to be premiered at salonchingon.com, contact Andrea Daugirdas: notthecurator@salonchingon.com and tell us more about your project, ideas, and what is to be done.

In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the show: one in which the people are not “represented” by Commercial Media and its control rooms, but, rather, in which We, The People, present ourselves, exactly as we wish to be heard. Well… don’t just sit there. The show is yours to make.

And so, another chapter begins on the road to Authentic Journalism, a road that you are cordially invited to help guide, construct, and drive through to victory.

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America