5:30 pm, 11/14 VBB’s next production: A celebration of VBB’s Archives at the University of Houston Library!

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Past Seasons

If you have ideas about shows you’d like to see presented in Houston or would like to participate in community discussions, please call or email our office.

VBB’s Second Decade: 2014-15

To get regular updates about our shows please join our email list.

This season, Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB) initiates Part II in our Borderlines project, Migrations and Movement, a year-long arc of programming that juxtaposes intercultural conflict in North American and South Asian border regions.

VBB's 2014-15 LRA productions will examine labor trafficking across North American and South Asian border regions: Canada-Mexico-US and Afghanistan-Bangladesh-India-Pakistan. In South Asia, we will continue exploring the borders between these countries and track how the carving of them has led to 'illegal' crossings, even as people continue to grapple with diverging narratives of historical events. Likewise, we will explore the ongoing legacy of US-Mexico border disputes and its impact on the Houston Latina/o communities, including the buying, selling and exchanging of human bodies for labor.

With the support of organizations such as Baker Ripley, part of Neighborhood Centers, Inc., productions and workshops in Migrations and Movement will be grounded in Gulfton, Houston's most densely populated, diverse neighborhood.

As VBB explores different layers of history through the creation of new and innovative art, we aim to illuminate local and global connections that bring communities together, so cultural borders can be erased and histories better understood.

Fall 2014

a vbb cultural narrative
Zinda Bhaag (Run for Your Life): A Screening

Moody Park Riot

5:30 PM, Sunday, November 9, 2014
At the home of Sandra Boccara
$ Free

VBB kicks off our 2014-15 season with a special screening of Zinda Bhaag (Run for Your Life), a 2013 Pakistani Punjabi-language drama film co-directed by Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi. Zinda Bhaag unravels against the theme of 'illegal' immigration and was constructed out of stories, anecdotes, and events that the directors encountered.

Join VBB for this special screening and an exclusive conversation with co-director Meenu Gaur + producer Mazhar Zaidi!

This special event is co-sponsored by the South Asia Institute (UT-Austin), Aurora Picture Show, KPFT 90.1 FM Pacifica, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts (UH-Houston), Saint Arnold's Brewery, and Whole Foods-Montrose.


1:00 PM, Sunday, November 9, 2014
Royal Restaurant, 11939 Bissonnet St., 77099 (Alief)
$50 per person

Join VBB's board as our special guest for an intimate luncheon with Zinda Bhaag filmmakers Meenu Gaur + Mazhar Zaidi at Royal Restaurant in Houston's Alief neighborhood.

Seating is limited, so please reserve your seat by e-mailing infovbbarts.org, or by purchasing a ticket above!


a vbb living room art | Borderlines production
Migrations and Movement: Close Together

Borderlines MM1
Photos by Logan Beck; design by Angela Martinez

4:00-7:00 PM, Saturday, December 6, 2014
At the apartment of Mercedes Herrera
$ Free

Curated by Diana Barrera, Jimmy Castillo, Michelle Garcia, Monica Villarreal and Charisse Weston.

Participating artists include Gidree Bawlee and Sadya Mizan, Bangladesh; Francisco-Fernando Granados, Canada; Moonis Shah, India; Polen and Mónica Arreola, Tijuana; Farrukh Adnan, Nadja Khwaja, Mohsin Shafi and Sophia Mairai, Pakistan.

Join VBB for a Borderlines living room art production where artists will transform a Gulfton apartment home from the inside out by examining what it means to live close together, yet still be far apart.

Close Together will feature:
-Performances and installations by Houston-based artists
-Digital media installations from international artists
-Refreshments donated by Whole Foods-Montrose and Saint Arnold's
Bring your families and join us for an evening filled with art, community, and food!

This production is part of Gandhi's Legacy Houston, an initiative by the Menil Collection with other Houston organizations.


Únese con VBB para una producción Borderlines de arte que transformará un apartamento en el barrio Gulfton de adentro hacia afuera examinando que significa estar cerca y aún así seguir separados.

La producción presentará:
-Actuaciones e instalaciones de artistas locales
-Instalaciones digitales de artistas internacionales
-Refrescos y botanas donadas por Whole Foods-Montrose y Saint Arnold's cervecería
Traigan su familia para una noche llena de arte, de comunidad y de comida!

Esta producción es una parte de Gandhi's Legacy Houston por el Menil Collection con otras organizaciones en Houston.

Co-sponsored by/Patrocinada por KPFT 90.1 FM Pacifica, American Pakistan Foundation, Baker Ripley Center, Bangladesh Association Houston, Fe y Justicia Worker Center and South Texas Human Rights Center.

Interested in being a volunteer? Click here to learn more!


Spring 2015

a vbb book launch
Borderlines: Volume 1

Borderlines Volume 1

4-6 PM, Sunday, January 25, 2015
Cafe Brasil, 2604 Dunlavy Street, 77006

Join VBB for the second annual launch of our newest living room art (LRA) catalogue, Borderlines: Volume One, which contains essays and photographs about the first year (2013-14) in Borderlines, a series of productions and workshops grounded in Near Northside that explored cross-cultural connections between the US-Mexico and Pakistan-India-Bangladesh border regions.

Co-sponsored by Cafe Brasil, the book launch will feature:
-readings from Houston-based contributors Daniel Bustamante, Jimmy Castillo and Shreerekha Subramanian
-an exhibition featuring prints from Borderlines productions
-books for sale at our special discounted rate
-local contributors and artists who will be on hand to sign copies

This catalogue features essays written by a large pool of community activists, artists, and academics including Chintan Girish Modi (India); Tehmina Ahmed (Pakistan); Sadya Mizan and Hafiza Nilofar Khan (Bangladesh); Minerva Laveaga (El Paso); Mónica Arreola and Adriana Trujillo (Mexico); Sehba Sarwar, Bapsi Sidhwa and Shreerekha Subramanian, (Houston, Texas/Pakistan, India); and interviews with Daniel Bustamante by Monica Villarreal and with LRA homeowner Frank Aguilar by Rob Block and Jimmy Castillo (Houston). The essays are edited by Drs. Margot Backus and Maria Gonzalez, professors at University of Houston, and designed by Joshua Turner and Angela Martinez. VBB's Associate Director, Ana Laurel, serves as the publication's Managing Editor.

Woven throughout the essays are photographs by Logan Sebastian Beck, Alejandro Cossio, Mónica Arreola, and many more, as well as links connecting the reader to VBB documentaries by Karen Martinez. These multimedia features allow the reader to experience VBB's productions as they unfurled!


a vbb fundraising event
Drink VBB Better!


5 PM, Sunday, February 1, 2015
Poison Girl, 1641 Westheimer, 77006

On "Sunday Funday," grab your friends and family + join VBB staff, artists and board members for libations and a special treat! 'Til they kick everyone out at 2 AM, Poison Girl will donate all drink proceeds towards the support of VBB and our ongoing Borderlines project.

This event is hosted by Poison Girl's Drink Houston Better fundraiser, which supports a different non-profit every month.


a vbb screening
Monitor 10

Monitor 10
Photos from SAVAC

7-8:45 PM, Saturday, Februrary 21, 2014
Baker Ripley Neighborhood Center, Chase Opportunity Center, 6500 Rookin St., 77057
$ Free

Join Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB) for Monitor 10: South Asian Experimental Film + Video (72 mins). Curated by SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) in Toronto, Canada, Monitor is dedicated to the presentation of experimental short films and videos by/and/or/about South Asians from all around the world. From found footage to performance video, reality television to observational documentary, the works in Monitor 10 engage various forms of melodrama to produce wry, highly entertaining and complex political commentaries.

After the screening, moderator Marian Luntz (MFAH's Curator of Film and Video) will lead a panel discussion with Dr. Sucheta Choudhuri (UH-D faculty), Danielle Dean (Core Fellow in Residence at the MFAH Glassell School of Art), and Michael Sicinski (UH faculty) to contextualize the socio-cultural atmosphere informing the short pieces and to discuss the experimental film conventions being used or subverted by the filmmakers.

Monitor 10 features mature content not suitable for children. There will be staff on site to watch children under 10 so parents can enjoy the film and snacks donated by Whole Foods-Montrose.


Uneté con Voices Breaking Boundaries (VBB) para Monitor 10. Compuesto por SAVAC en Toronto, Canada, Monitor esta dedicada a la presentación de cortometrajes y vídeos experimentales creado por/y/o/sobre los asiáticos del sur de los países del mundo. De metraje encontrado a arte en vivo, televisión de realidad a documental de observación, las obras en el Monitor 10 involucran diversas formas de melodrama para producir comentarios políticos torcidos muy entretenido y complejas.

Después las películas, hay una conversación con Marian Luntz (MFAH's Curator of Film and Video) y panelistas Dr. Sucheta Choudhuri (UH-D faculty), Danielle Dean (Core Fellow in Residence at the MFAH Glassell School of Art), and Michael Sicinsky (UH faculty) para proporcionar un contexto para el ambiente social y cultural que informa las películas y para discutir las tradiciones cinematográficas experimentales se están utilizando o subvertido por los cineastas.

Este evento incluye contenido no apropiado para niños. Habrá personal para vigilar a los niños menores de 10 años de edad que los padres puedan disfrutar de la película y refrescos donados por Whole Foods-Montrose.


a vbb reading
Reading at Brazos: Borderlines, Volume One


7 PM, Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Brazos Bookstore, 2421 Bissonnet, Houston, 77005
$ Free

Did you miss our book launch at Cafe Brasil? Then join VBB at Brazos Bookstore on Wednesday, March 11 to hear from Houston-based contributors Sehba Sarwar, Shreerekha Subramanian, and a special recorded reading from Minerva Laveaga (El Paso, Texas)!

Click here to learn more about Borderlines: Volume One.

This reading is sponsored by Saint Arnold's Brewery, with generous support from Poets and Writers.


a vbb living room art | Borderlines production

Borderlines Exploring Rituals
Photos by Logan Beck; design by Angela Martinez

3:00-6:00 PM, Saturday, May 16, 2015
The apartment of Eduardo Flores, The Alexander House, 6060 Gulfton, Apt. 1909, 77081
$ Free

Curated by Diana Barrera, Eric DeBruin, Michelle Garcia and Charisse Weston

Participating artists include: Britto Arts Trust and Sadya Mizan (Bangladesh); Manolo Lugo and Francisco-Fernando Granados (Canada); Veer Munshi, Masooma Syed and Sebastian Varghese (India); Claudia Espinosa aka Cerrucha (Mexico); Farrukh Adnan (Pakistan); and Karen Martinez, Armando Silva and DJ Lalo (Houston, Texas).

In response to the hostile crossing points in which they reside, local and international artists challenge regulations to human movement and embrace their transnational identities.

The afternoon features:
-Mixed media installations and performances by local and international artists
-Music by DJ Lalo
-Refreshments donated by Whole Foods-Montrose and Saint Arnold's

Co-sponsored by 90.1 KPFT Pacifica, Baker Ripley Center, Fe y Justicia Workers Center, Nepalese Association Houston, RAIZ of Planned Parenthood and South Texas Human Rights Center.


a vbb-Baker Ripley community workshop
Borderlines 2: Community Workshop

Borderlines Shared Histories

Beginning May 2015, Closed Workshop

This Spring, VBB is partnering with Baker Ripley Center and Avenue CDC to host a community visual arts workshop.

Participants will have the opportunity to share their work with a larger audience at our Spring 2015 living room art production!


vbb's annual fundraising event
La Valiente 2015 :: History in the Making, A Quinceañera


7-10 PM, Saturday, August 22, 2015
Location TBA

Evening Co-Chaired by Nita and Dinesh Singhal

Hosts include Hosam Aboul-Ela, Carmen Peña Abrego,
Dina Al-Sowayel, Yolanda Alvarado, Teresa Arellano,
Janice Hale-Harris, Josef Helfenstein, Rich Levy, Kathryn McNiel,
Zeba Shah, Vanessa Sola, Mustafa Tameez, and Lauren Zentz.

Since 2003, VBB and our Board have honored artists and activists who reflect our organization's passionate commitment to speaking out and inciting social change through art. To celebrate fifteen years of VBB breaking boundaries in Houston, we are honoring Lisa E. Harris,
Paul Hester, Fady Joudah, Rick Lowe, and Delilah Montoya, five Houston-based artists whose careers push artistic boundaries and whose voices challenge borderlines by documenting stories that refuse to be erased.

For more information on joining our hosting committee or sponsoring the event, please visit our La Valiente 2015 page!


2014-15 Co-Sponsorships

Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence

7:00 PM, October 2, 2014
The Menil Collection, 1533 Sul Ross Street, 77006
$ Free

VBB is proud to be a community partner in collaboration with the Menil Collection's upcoming exhibition, Experiments with Truth: Gandhi and Images of Nonviolence, opening on October 2 in observance of the 145th year of Mohandas K. Gandhi's birth. The exhibition will remain on view at the Menil through February 2015.


Honoring Our Heartbeats: A Tour to End Forced Marriage

VBB Borderlines Crossing Lines

6:30-8:00 PM, Thursday, October 16, 2014
Baker Ripley Neighborhood Center, 6500 Rookin St., 77057
$ Free | Click here to RSVP

Join VBB, alongwith Tahirih Justice Center, for a community forum at Baker Ripley Neighborhood Center in Houston's Gulfton neighborhood. The forum will kick off with a multimedia performance by the authors of the comic book, Heartbeats: The IZZAT Project, which inspired the six-city Heartbeats Tour. The performance will be followed by a Q+A session and a reception, where copies of the comic book will be available.

The Heartbeats Tour is co-sponsored by VBB, Tahirih Justice Center, DAYA, and Pomegranate Tree Group



A Houston Poetry Fest/VBB Satellite Reading


7:30-9:00 PM, Thursday, October 16, 2014
Kaboom Books, 3116 Houston, 77009
$ Free

Join VBB at Kaboom books for a Houston Poetry Fest Satellite Reading! Hosted by VBB board member Dean Liscum, the reading will feature Rich Levy, Sehba Sarwar, and Gwendolyn Zepeda! There will be cheese donated by Houston Dairymaids, there will be beer from Saint Arnold's, there will be poetry, and there will be fun, so don't miss it-


Sehba Sarwar Presents: What is Home?


3:00-5:00 PM, Saturday, May 9
Baker Ripley Neighborhood Center
$ Free

Join VBB's Artistic Director Sehba Sarwar for the culminating performance / installation of the first phase of her What Is Home? project that includes an art installation and readings from her eponymous memoir-in-progress. Also present at the show will be students and women who participated in Sarwar's storytelling spring workshops.

Sarwar's project is funded in part by a Mid-America Arts Alliance's Artistic Innovations grant and is developed in part through a residency with the University of Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts and cosponsored by Neighborhood Centers Inc., and Voices Breaking Boundaries.


VBB Radio

Open Journal: Think Global — Act Local! VBB radio

VBB Radio
Photos: Mahwash Rahman and Katie Plochek

Throughout its season, VBB will also host radio shows on Open Journal (9:30 – 10 am) on KPFT 90.1 FM Pacifica Radio. Dates will be announced as they are scheduled. For more details, stay tuned to our website.


Copyright ©2011 Voices Breaking Boundaries
Designed by Shaila Abdullah

VBB is a multidisciplinary arts organization. Our mission is to
cross borders, sustain dialogue and incite social justice through art.