faces of new americans

Artist Activities

September 15, 2011

Faces of New America exhibit is currently on display at Galaxie Library and Burnhaven Library in Apple Valley. I will be speaking about the work on Saturday September 24, 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm at the Galaxie Library.

Read a review of the exhibit by Liz Rolfsmeier in the StarTribune, “Exhibit examines cultural divide”

Also, you can see a smaller scale exhibit of Faces of New America at the St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s Harry M. Drake Gallery.

Artist Reception: Wednesday, October 5, 2011: 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
Exhibit: September 29–October 21
Location: RC Drake Gallery

The gallery is open to the public during the normal school weeks from 8 am to 6 pm


The screening of  Hour of the Dark @ Minnesota Shorts: Narrative on April 19 went well and  was almost sold out.  Watching your film on the large screen offers a good opportunity for polishing the film and fine-tuning the details.   Here is Sheila Regan review of the film on the  City pages blogs:

“Hour of the Dark, by Jila Nikpay features this year’s City Pages Local Girl Made Good Aditi Kapil, and shows the emotional experience of an Iranian woman living in exile learning about the violence that erupted in her country following the 2009 elections. Filled with metaphor, the short offers a powerful look at one woman’s heartbreak over the turmoil of her home country.”  Read the whole article



My latest short, Hour of the Dark, premiers at the 2011 Minneapolis -St. Paul International Film Festival , Tuesday, April 19, 2011 – 7:00pm & Wednesday, May 4, 2011 – 9:45pm @ the  St. Anthony Main Theatre

Hour of the Dark, HD video, 6:38 min, 2011

Synopsis: Haunted by the massive unrest and brutality in her homeland, a distraught exile descends into a personal nightmare.

Featuring Aditi Kapil with  Gabriele Angieri

Cinematography: Jon Springer

Narration & voice: Vera Mariner

Sound design: Michael Terati

See an Excerpt:

Here is my must see film list at Minneapolis / St. Paul International Film Festival:

White Meadows by Mohammad Rasoulof

Film Socialisme by Jean-Luc Godard

Night Fishing by Chan-wook Park




My film, Poem for the Sea is screened from March 1-August 28, 2011 in the Best Buy Film/Video Bay at the Walker Art Center.

This annual series of short films and videos showcases the finest work produced in Minnesota over the past two years, including animation, documentaries, experimental films, comedies, and dramas. To learn more visit info on the Walker website.


On Saturday February 26, I was the guest speaker at the Chanhassen Library in Carver County in conjunction with the Faces of New America exhibition.  Despite the snow, there was a good turnout and lively discussion about the new cultures in the Twin Cities. I was surprised by the wide range of perspectives about new immigrants. For example, some participants mentioned that this was the first time they heard about Hmong immigrants or why they were here.

Here is the March issue’s Minnesota Women’s press article about Faces of New America’s project



While in N.Y. C, I was invited by Nathalie Anglès – Founder/Director of Residency Unlimited to write an article for their website’s dialogue section. Residency Unlimited is located in Brooklyn, N.Y. and has various activities that bring artists and curators together in a residency format to collaborate. You can also find info about other residency opportunities in U.S. and abroad on their site.

Here is the link to my article:



Marianne Combs’s article on Faces of New America’s project.


and Tune-in KFAI’s 10,000 Fresh Voices  during the weekday to hear about the project.

There is only two weeks left to the end of the exhibition. Make sure to check it out before it closes on January 30.


The December 9 panel discussion was a rich experience for the audience.  The three young participants met for the first time but connected with each other instantly. I was moved once again by their wisdom, humor,  and intelligence.  Here is a rare photo of them together.

Faces of New America participants & panel members


December has finally arrived and here are a few updates for this month.  You can see my short film, Poem for the Sea, on TPT2, 10:30 pm, December 12, and 9:00 pm December 19 on statewide TPTMN.  http://www.ifpmn.org/mntv2.html

Also, if you get a chance check out the Faces of New America exhibition at Cargill Hall gallery, located on the 2nd floor of Central library, 300 Nicollet Mall. The reception is on December 9, 6:30-8:30 pm with a panel discussion with three of the youth in the project, moderated by Marlina Gonzalez, independent curator. It should be a very engaging discussion.

online review in TC Daily Planet



While in New York I paid homage to Ground Zero. It looked very tragic and noisy with the construction trucks busy at the site.  I could not help but feel the gravity of the 9/11 event in my gut and how it might have impacted the people who witnessed it first hand:  Soon after, I came across a beautifully written text by Max Blagg in Fall 2010, Aperture magazine.  “I feel propriety about the Twin Towers because I was walking my daughter to school that morning, five hundred yards south of where the first plane went in. It still enrages me, that they were so close to us, to her. I’d block their path to paradise if I could.. ……We are supposed to look back at the past without regret, but who can dismiss the sorrow that morning brought? And the years since, the persecution and  destruction of Iraq, the unnumbered dead who won’t see this blue sky today or rain tomorrow.”


I am going full speed in editing Hour of the Dark and planning a research trip to New York.

On my editing break, I just ran across an interesting article, “Germany and the Failure of Mulitculturism.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared at an Oct. 16 meeting of young members of her party, that multiculturalism, “has failed totally.” http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20101018_germany_and_failure_multiculturalism

The argument sounds familiar and explain why people looking middle eastern have told me they have been treated with reservation and suspicion in Germany.

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