Described as a constellation of creative work exploring the daily realities of violence, incarceration, detention and policing in communities across the United States, and the healing and care strategies that emerge from these same communities, The Healing Project, orchestrated by composer and artist Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes, is showing until September 4 at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA). We chatted with Greenbrae local Christian Padron Gangitano, who is The Healing Project’s lead visual designer and cinematographer, about his role in the project and how Marin inspires his work.
Marin Magazine (MM): How did you get involved in The Healing Project?
Christian Padron Gangitano (CPG): Pinderhughes has been working on the project for about eight years, learning about how families are healing from structural violence and what the constellation of healing looks like for different communities. He and I started working together about four years ago on a film called Process. We then collaborated on a film and music project last year called Grief and then, most recently, on Masculinity, which considers stereotypes and ideas around ‘manliness.’
MM: Your role sounds quite involved.
CPG: I was responsible for making sure the works contributed to the storyline we wanted to convey.
MM: Please tell us about your connection to Marin.
CPG: I was born in Marin, raised in Greenbrae and attended Branson. My Dad has run the Gene Hiller store in Sausalito for a long time. Marin has been so important to us. Everything I’m doing now is a culmination of my experiences in Marin and afterward — the social opportunities, the access we had to everything, Marin’s openness to diversity. My family is proud to be from Marin.
MM: In the realm of the Bay Area, I’d venture that most people do not think of Marin as a fertile ground for social justice causes.
CPG: There’s kind of a stigma of growing up in Marin, that it’s disconnected from what’s going on. My Mom is Afro-Cuban and my dad is Italian-American. Growing up, I was exposed to all kinds of statuses, classes, races and affinities. I was always drawn to that and always drawn to storytelling but never had the medium. After graduating from University of Southern California’s associate cinematography program, I saw the possibility of telling my family’s and my community’s stories.
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Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her childrens’ schools, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.