Film director Maria Agui Carter screens her 75-minute film, "Rebel," on Thursday, Feb. 19, from 6:30 - 9 p.m. in the UNM SUB Ballroom C. The film is the amazing story of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, who crossdressed as a Confederate soldier turned Union Spy.
Following the screening, the director will discuss Velazquez with UNM’s Dr. Jesse Alemán, who has studied and written about her. The event is free and open to the public.
Who was Loreta Janeta Velazquez? And what made her so dangerous she has been virtually erased from history? A 19th century woman of many disguises who was born in Havana and raised in New Orleans, Velazquez was a rebel from the start, a precocious Cuban tomboy who idolized Joan of Arc. One of the 1,000 women said to have fought in the Civil War, she altered her sex, her ethnicity and her very identity in order to become a Confederate soldier, under the alias Lieutenant Harry Buford, to spy for the Confederacy. She then become a double agent for the Union, and then exposed her secret in a memoir, "The Woman in Battle," which chronicled her often tragic life.
Yet for the last 150 years, her story has been dismissed as a hoax. "Rebel" unlocks this mystery with a non-traditional approach that plays with form and style to create an impressive body of evidence.
The presentation of "Rebel" and the discussion to follow are made possible by: the American Studies Department, the College of Arts & Sciences, the Center for Regional Studies, the Department of English Language and Literature, the English Graduate Student Association, the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, the Feminist Research Institute, the History Department, and the Philosophy Department.