916.695.6882; jazmineulloa@gmail.com

Hello out there

By Jazmine Ulloa

I picked up my pink, Pocahontas diary one day in January, and as my opening line, in jagged letters wrote: “I have six boyfriends, Andrew, Michael, Sean, Paul, Stephen and Mark.” I was just learning English. I meant to say crushes. But it was a bold declaration for a 7-year-old, and my family still makes fun of me for it.

For this very first official post, I was trying to think of the very best first sentence, something just as bold. But I kept coming up bare and then remembered that is how my collection of blank journals came to be stowed away in a flimsy cardboard box underneath my desk.

I used to carry some of them around with me in an old book bag, at least three or four notebooks with beautiful covers and crisp, white pages. I wanted to fill them up with words and thoughts and pieces of the days I always wanted to remember, but I never knew where to start.

Brian, Jess and me.

That intimidation came to an end five years ago when I met Brian in a small, rundown hostel in downtown Amsterdam. A close friend and I were sharing a bunk bed-filled room with him and 14 other strangers, but the three of us quickly got to talking and in less than 24 hours had trekked through parks and museums, jazz clubs and smoke shops.

As the sun set, we found ourselves sitting at the edge of one of the city’s canals, sharing headphones and swapping stories. He was about our age, in his early 20s, and backpacking on his own through Europe. He let me read an entry in his black notebook about his stop in Barcelona. I unzipped my book bag and showed him my untouched journals. “Shit, you are not writing the Bible,” he said. “Open it and write.”

And in my chicken scratch writing, I did. “Hello out there,” I said.

Here’s to the beginning.

Short documentaries produced at home and abroad.

Caravan for Peace


Produced by Jazmine Ulloa
Photos contributed by A.J. Miranda, Natalia Ciolko

Mexican poet Javier Sicilia and fellow activists under the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity stop in Austin in an estimated 6,000-mile journey — from the Mexican border city of Tijuana to Washington, D.C. The group’s mission is to draw attention to the bloody struggle in Mexico that has claimed the lives of thousands, including Sicilia’s son and other loved ones.
As released Aug. 29, 2012
See more on tumblr.

To sing and dance: Ensemble for elderly and disabled women is making its joyful mark


Story and video by Jazmine Ulloa
The Boston Globe

Maria Flores came to Villa Victoria eight years ago after a life in Puerto Rico of sewing, plowing, and doing almost anything a single mother in the countryside could to rase and educate her children.

Once her daughter and two sons had begun their careers, she moved from her native Sabana Grande to the South End neighborhood to simply enjoy the last and finest part of her life, she said.But Flores, a 64-year-old woman with a buoyant laugh and a magnetic personality, did much more.

As published July 17, 2009

Eastside Pride


Produced by Jazmine Ulloa and Rita Chapa

Perla Arpero was a junior when Johnston High School was shut down and restructured in 2008 after five years of dismal standardized test scores. The troubled school lost everything from teachers to its name and mascot, and the fight to keep it open had a profound effect on its students. We sought to tell their story through the bright, vivacious girl, as she finished up her senior year at the re-named Eastside Memorial High School.
As released spring 2009

La Botánica


Produced by Caitlin Diaz, Araceli Jaime, Lauren Pruitt, and Jazmine Ulloa

John Cazeras is the owner of the Green and White. In this short film, we tell the story of the East Austin landmark that has changed roles over time. Formerly a neighborhood grocery store, it now offers more esoteric goods, from herbs and incense to lucky candles and arcane artifacts. His clientele is growing. La India or La Mistica is one of his regular customers. She also has her own business in the store. She can break a curse or give you a reading.
As released spring 2009

Czech Tekno


Produced by Jazmine Ulloa

Think Woodstock for electronica music lovers.

Czeck Tek is a massive open-air festival that brings more than 40,000 people from all over Europe to the Czech Republic every July for a weeklong celebration of electronic, house and techno beats. In its early years, the “teknival” location would surface not until a day before the event because the party was truly underground and not even legal. But after a bloody showdown between partygoers and police in the summer of 2005, organizers acquired permits for the following year.

As part of a study abroad program in 2006, a friend and I traveled to Hadriste military fields to cover the fest for a short documentary I was making on the underground music scene in Prague.

Credits at the end: Brian Chamblee for lighting, Josh and Tomas for sharing their tent, Professor Andy Garrison, FAMU, UT Austin
As released summer 2006
Watch more Prague stories here.

Prague stories: Czech Tekno

Think Woodstock for electronica music lovers.

Czeck Tek is a massive open-air festival that brings more than 40,000 people from all over Europe to the Czech Republic every July for a weeklong celebration of electronic, house and techno beats. In its early years, the “teknival” location would surface not surface until a day before the event because the party was truly underground and not even legal. But after a bloody showdown between partygoers and police in the summer of 2005, organizers acquired permits for the following year.

As part of a study abroad program in 2006, a friend and I traveled to Hadriste military fields to cover the fest as a part of a short documentary I was making on the underground music scene in Prague.

Credits at the end: Brian Chamblee for lighting, Josh and Tomas for sharing their tent, Professor Andy Garrison, FAMU, UT Austin

Check out more Prague Stories here.

Abroadly Speaking

Volume II, Spring 2008

I helped found Abroadly Speaking with three other students our freshman year at the University of Texas at Austin. The student-run magazine was sponsored by the school’s Study Abroad Office with the mission of increasing and diversifying the study abroad student body. Over three years, we received funding to produce 1,500 print copies of the first issue and 3,500 copies of each of the following two issues. As editor in chief from 2006 to 2009, I wrote articles, gathered and edited photos and stories from more than two dozen contributing writers, and designed all three issues and promotional materials.

To read the Spring 2008 issue click here.
To read the Spring 2009 issue click here.