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Only the Bridge Matters Now Open Access

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Only the Bridge Matters Now, a multimedia documentary web and book project, explores the metaphorical bridge linking the Bolivian communities of Northern Virginia to their region of origin. By sustaining tradition, memory, and an immense love for their hometowns and cultural identities, the communities keep families and communities united. The images, narratives and multimedia explore the bridge between the Valle Alto, Bolivia and Northern Virginia and address themes of migration and identity through family, culture, dance, community, separation, nostalgia, youth, return, and perspectives on “a good life.”It is said that Bolivians from the Valle Alto residing in Virginia do not emigrate; but rather they bring everything with them to Virginia so they are able to continue their lives almost exactly as if they were in Bolivia. Valle Alteños perceive the whole planet as the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and thus all land as one. In Bolivia or Virginia, the land is the same Pachamama. Only the Bridge Matters Now frames immigration through the perspective of the Americas as a region with more linkages than borders, and challenges viewers to consider immigration not through the expected paradigms of nation-state borders, but through the cultural, economic, and spiritual bridges sustained between places and communities.

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