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August Meetup | Aesthetics of
representation and media biases

Thanks to our speakers and The Mixed Space community, this year’s August Meetup was enlightening and inspiring. We came together to reflect on the many biases that exist in media content and the production industry.


Our hosts for the evening, Lili Stiefel and Ariel Bastida, began by framing the discussion in a historical context and shared a video of Hattie McDanielthe first African American to win an Academy Award.


We took a moment to honor the unseen people of the industry, stories that have been silenced, and the truths that have yet to be shown on screen. Our panelists shared their unique and varied points of view on past, present, and future realities facing the media industry.


The panelists, CA DavisDavid Garcia, and Maris Lidaka introduced themselves and the companies they have created along their journeys, showing us how to create our own pathways for the content we want to see in the world.

CA Davis has always gravitated towards storytelling and history. He studied telecommunications and started film editing after college. He currently works as a Digital Storyteller at Northwestern University and is creator of the Latto Thought Podcast. His perspectives shared during the meetup reflect his involvement in academia as well as his continued passion for civil rights, history, and truth telling. He reminded us to recognize the camera as a colonizer’s tool, forcing us to face the political motivations behind the history of media.

David Garcia, an experienced professional in the film and media production industry, is also Media Director for The Mixed Space. Throughout his career, David has ensured that ze creates safe environments on set for both physical and mental health. David’s knowledge about film technology is immense and ze is very open to sharing this insight with others. At the meetup, ze reminded us of how accessible content creation is at the time we are living in today. David compares the camera to a pen, because the camera can rewrite history or even tell untold stories. There is power in storytelling.

Maris Lidaka is a long time lover of film who has worked across all different types of media for decades. He shared his learnings with us about how the production industry works on an executive level and also how to create work that brings your passions to life. Maris himself is the founder of The Blended Future Project, which empowers the Mixed experience through storytelling. At the meetup, Maris shared the idea that film can pass down values through generations. He also encouraged those who aspire to have careers in the media industry that success is a marathon, not a sprint.

Maris Lidaka’s

Participants of the August Meetup received an exclusive sneak peek into Maris Lidaka’s newest film called Breakaway about two people of different races who are on their first date and may become a couple depending on what happens after a mysterious text message. It is currently available for pre-order on Vimeo.

August Meetup’s Words of Encouragement and Motivation from Our Community Whiteboard:

It’s not just about representation, but also about how people are portrayed.Feeling welcomed.
Thank you for continuing to break through the barriers set by past generations.
This is the best time to be a creator.
Mistakes are learning opportunities.
You need other perspectives.
Artists have power.
It’s not in the easy times but in the hard times where artists have to go to work.
It’s never too late to do what you want to do.
My work helps X achieve Y through Z.

Chat Recap:

The August Meetup embraces the truths that have been told and the truths that are awaiting to be told within representation in mainstream media. Resources related to the Meetup’s discussion are below:


“A land acknowledgement is a critical step towards working with native communities to secure meaningful partnership and inclusion in the stewardship and protection of their cultural resources and homelands. As many of us are settlers, immigrants, or descendants of those forcefully brought to this continent, our institutions were founded upon exclusions and erasures of the Indigenous peoples whose land we are located. We honor and are grateful for the land we occupy and recognize the ongoing damage of settler colonialism. Land acknowledgment demonstrates a commitment to beginning the process of working to dismantle the ongoing legacies of colonialism and the pursuit of truth and healing.”


This statement was generously shared with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center by the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center in Santa Rosa, California.
CIMCC – Weaving Native Culture Into The Future


Lili Stiefel sharing Hattie McDaniel’s Aca demy Award ceremony speech:
Hattie McDaniel winning Best Supporting Actress – YouTube


Bringing to light Array, a rebirth of the African-American film festival releasing movement:
HomeOLD — Array Now


Maris Likada, the founder of The Blended Future Project:
The Blended Future Project – A Multiracial Community


Referencing the Netflix Original Documentary “Disclosure”
THE FILM (disclosurethemovie.com)


A Latto Thought Podcast by CA Davis


Between Pictures (David Garcia’s Production Company) https://betweenpictures.co/


Janet Mock


Laverne Cox