American Pick Up, 2017

Hong Kong 2018
mor charpentier
Video/Film
"American Pick Up" (2017) emulates the assassination of James Byrd, an African-American from Texas who on June 6, 1998 was brutally murdered by white supremacists in Jasper, Texas by being tied up with chains and dragged five kilometers behind a pick-up truck. This video shows a typical rural scene of abandoned croplands in the surroundings of the Hacienda de San Fernando in Tlaxcala. Once lively, this ghost town is, as many others, one of the results of massive immigration to the United States. The scene integrates two Mexican aspirations. On the one hand, the desire to own a “pick-up truck” as a trophy bought after years of living in hiding as an illegal immigrant; and on the other, the yearning for living the American Dream, a dream constantly denied by the persistence of racism, poverty and precariousness. The title comes from the name of Ford’s most popular truck, which in rural Mexico acts as a badge of performance and work. The aim of this video is to open a discussion around the immigrants persistence to remain in a context where people are increasingly willing to commit all kinds of atrocities to demonstrate their superiority.