“Hummingbird”: Make a Difference, One Drop at a Time
Do you believe in the culture of poverty — the assumption that people are trapped at the bottom of society because of the values they hold and the behaviors in which they engage? I have to admit that I did. I used to believe that I thought and behaved very differently from the homeless people sleeping under the bridge or gang members creating graffiti on freeways. It was not until I watched Hummingbird that I changed my mind.
Directed by Holly Mosher, George Walker-Torres, and João Junqueira, Hummingbird is an award-winning documentary that explores how Women’s Life Collective and House of Passage, two nonprofit organizations, utilize the pedagogy of affection to help street women and children in Brazil break free from domestic violence.
I was fortunate enough to watch this moving documentary and interact with Holly Mosher at the EcoSalon on March 24 because it changed the way I view poverty.
How different are poor people from others? A street boy in the coastal city of Recife, Brazil spoke in front of the camera. “I don’t like snuffing glue! I do it because I got addicted.” When asked what they need to change the status quo, a group of women and street children shouted, “Social securities and ID; house; money; work study.” As for their dream jobs, children and adults replied that they would like to be lawyers, judges, and football players. Looking into the label of “the poor”, I saw that they often know better about what they want for life than I do for my own.
Nonetheless, what makes it hard for poor people to get what they want? I am convinced that it is a lack of love. Only love can translate into years of therapy to help Adriana, a girl who left domestic violence at six and had a daughter at age 11, get off the street. Only love can translate into classes and field trips for kids in the Women’s Life Collective. Only love can translate into deep listening to stories of aggressive women who are suffering. Only love can translate into the pedagogy of affection, which helps women stop feeling ashamed of their bodies and learn that as long as they hope for good things and concentrate on the daily life, they will reach their full potential. After all, what prompted Cecy Prestrello, Marcia Dangremon, and Ana Vasconcelos to help and protect street women and children was not college education or expertise in sociology, but rather, love.
Love inspires the volition to make a difference, one drop at a time. For the women and children on the street, the difference is being more aware of their rights. For Holly Mosher, the difference is deciding to make every project after Hummingbird something to give back. For me, the difference is reading more academic journals about women in domestic violence, picking up a college textbook about marriage and family, and thinking twice before judging people who appear to be different than me. For you who are reading this article, what will the difference be?SHARE THIS