Why Cybraceros? by Alex Rivera
Why Cybraceros? takes the form of a mock promotional film. It is based on a real promotional film produced in the late 1940’s by the California Grower’s Council, titled Why Braceros? This film was used by the Grower’s Council to defend the use of braceros, or temporary Mexican farmhands. I use footage from this old industrial to briefly lay out the history of the Bracero Program in the United States. At the half way point the piece takes a sharp turn as the narrator advocates a futuristic Bracero Program in which only the labor is imported to the United States. The workers themselves are left at home in Mexico, as they Tele-commute to American farms over the high-speed Internet. The narrator explains that in this imagined future there is no difference between rich and poor on the Internet, this is a future in which truly everyone can work from home, even braceros.