"Dance Against Violence"

Four Photographs
by Judith Williams Sandoval

From the exhibition "In Search of Community"
San Francisco, California

The photography exhibition "In Search of Community" was held at the San Francisco Photo Center, from February 28 to March 31, 2004. Also see photographs by Angelica Cabande, Tiffany Eng, Pauline Liang, Rebecca Peng, Al Sugano, Pei Wu.

Photographs / Artist's Statement / Frisco's Finest by the BBH

Click on images to see large versions.
photo by Judith Williams Sandoval photo by Judith Williams Sandoval
photo by Judith Williams Sandoval photo by Judith Williams Sandoval
Artist's Statement

Dance Against Violence

For the last three years, Dr. Rose and her dance students, from SFSU School of Music and Dance, have come to the Valley to teach dancing at the Village and other Visitacion valley sites. After two semesters of practice, these dancers join other city-wide artistic youth to perform in "the Children's Dance Concert," at San Francisco State McKenna, in late fall.

The first year, because the inexperienced dancers only moved one part of their body at a time, all photographs, taken in the dark with no flash, were in focus. However, by the third year, the dancers' bodies moved in simultaneous rhythm, so all photographs were out of focus. But lack of focus is a small sacrifice to presently experience their serious, joyful and powerful dancing.

Unfortunately, this year between the end of rehearsals and performance, the Valley experienced many consecutive days of shooting and the death of an innocent friend. Because of the widespread affect of these events, the three performing rappers rewrote the rap, now "Frisco's Finest," to reflect on the insanity of violence and to question and condemn " ... the hateration ... taking over our nation ... ."

This exhibit is a respectful prayer, ritual, homage, and dance against violence and, most of all, a tribute to these courageous performers and insightful youth as peacemakers. I only hope the concept of peace still exists.

-- Judith Williams Sandoval

Frisco's Finest by the BBH

We call this city Sucka Free
But we're ending up where we're not sposed to be
People getting shot on the Muni
This better end eventually

Julian Redmond was only 18
Many more years he should've seen
But somebody had to be real, real mean
And had to get him caught in between

The way we're disappearing is a pity
We cain't keep killin in the Frisco City
What has happened, ain't that pretty?
It's 24 right now, how long til fifty?

You know I cain't understand the pain the family is feelin'
Let's help them out cuz they gon' need healin
I hope this city finally stops killin
The way to solve this problem is to get down kneelin

Everyday I catch the 28
And I pray that I don't meet fate
These kids got shot, but it's too late
People we need to love! We don't need to hate

We need to stop killin not tomorrow, today
Stop pullin the trigga, that's the only way
We ain't got no more ground for these brothers to lay
Instead of disregarding, please hear what I say

So now I hope you heard what I said
No mo' young brothas endin up dead
This burden on our shoulders, is heavy like lead
I'm just saying these rhymes that are in my hea

1/2 Half:
What do we see when we turn on the TV
We see the high rollers like P. Diddy
Throwin round money like it grows on trees
But man thats not reality

Hate and violence are real on the ghetto streets
Then big name rappers put these actions to beats
While the victims can't get a bite to eat
The homeless eatin trash, the MCs eatin meat

We got a problem:
Us kids from Frisco are killing ourselves
So listen up brothers and listen well
I don't care if youre from Lakeview or Sunnydale
Cuz pullin the trigger ain't "keepin it real"

Its too late now
DeShawn's family's filled with grief
So use words next time you gotta settle a beef
Never take the sword from its sheath
Cuz we're all feelin it underneath

Man I know sometimes Frisco ain't that great
It don't have to turn into the city of hate
But when youths start to go down at this rate
There's some questions we all need to contemplate

Why the violence? Why the guns?
Cuz every boy in Frisco's some mother's son
Only if we unite can the battle be won
And dividin by firin aint helpin none

So no matter whether you claim red or blue
We're all the same beneath the FUBU
I'm a boy with hopes and dreams just like you
When you grow up, what do you want to do?

Da Mix:
We need to stop this hateration
It is taking all over this nation
Frisco needs to get it, an education
What is wrong with our generation

Don't always listen to the media
Cuz most of the time they playin ya
Always listen to your pops and your mama
Cuz all this crap is like a bacteria

I hate seeing people killing and others dying
When I hear little kids and families crying
Every time I see poor mamas sighing
I know Frisco needs to keep on trying

I need to stop seeing all this sadness
For once I need to see happiness
All this killing is making Frisco a mess
I need this to stop so I can relax and rest

When kids die, you don't know how their parents feel
I wish all these awful things weren't real
When I hear about things like this it makes me ill
Everybody listen to these words so Frisco can heal

DeShawn and Julian went through a horrible crisis
Some bustas trying to make their blocks look the tight
Why didn't God make the bullets fail their test?
These two young men were Frisco's finest

People who are killin are insane
They don't feel the mother's pain
Kids startin to drop like rain
This gotta stop, know what I'm sayin?

Published August 2, 2004.