Revista Acción_Argentina: En primera persona

En primera persona

El cine es el camino elegido por una activista española para denunciar la violencia sexual. Historias de niñas esclavas,de víctimas de la prostitución forzada y su propia experiencia personal le permiten transformar el dolor en acción solidaria…

por Beatriz Chisleanchi

Mis viajes por el mundo como periodista me han llevado al corazón de mujeres que han sanado sus heridas

rompiendo sus silencios. Su eco está crean- do olas de valor –dice Chelo Álvarez-Stehle, directora del multipremiado documental Arenas de silencio. Olas de valor que se proyectó en Buenos Aires en el 2° Congreso Mundial Infancia sin Violencia y en el cine Cosmos, donde estuvo en cartel hasta el 4 de septiembre.

…Silencios y palabras, como parte de un mismo proceso, recorren el trabajo de Chelo Álvarez. Palabras individuales y colectivas, que salvan, que liberan. «La primera parte del título, Arenas de silencio, fue elegido desde que decidí incluir mi historia personal y la de mi familia. La segunda parte, Olas de valor, se me ocurrió cuando me di cuenta de que, en efecto, lo que empezó como denuncia del silencio, se había convertido en una oda al coraje de las supervivientes, y el efecto dominó de una persona rompiendo su silencio e inspirando a otra a romper el suyo propio, podría equipararse a una sucesión interminable de olas rompiéndose sobre la arena».

Asahi Shimbun: Film to become the ray of hope

Asahi Shimbun 10/31/2018

Kibo no hikari ni naru eiga. Korekara mo.  Film to become the ray of hope.

Dome no Tabibito – Traveler to the Dome

Edited by Tetsuaki Otaki

I came to Hiroshima for the screening of my first documentary feature film, Sands of Silence at the Hiroshima City University.  I have been researching sexual exploitation and human trafficking in Asia and America for over 15 years.  This film shows light on that topic and also reveals the sexual abuse I and some members of my family suffered.

I became a journalist in Japan.  I came to Japan in 1990 as a scholarship student of European Economic Community, and became a Tokyo correspondent for El Mundo, Spanish daily newspaper. In October 1994, I covered the demonstration of the first Korean Comfort Women in front of the Japanese Diet in Tokyo. Their story impacted me and inspired me to keep writing on sexual violence and social justice. In 2008, I started to film this documentary film.

I visited the Peace Memorial Park on October 11th. Standing along the Motoyasu river and looking at the A-Bomb Dome, I remembered my father-in-law.  He was a physicist who had been involved in the Manhattan Project.  He was always reluctant to talk about it.  He was suffering.  As I am here in Hiroshima, I do feel we shall never repeat such tragedy.

In a world where nuclear weapons exist, there are two important things in order to pursue peace.  First, we have to realize that peace lies within our heart.  We need to realize the meaning of life and the purpose of life. Second, all the countries should unite and strongly demand denuclearization.

War is caused by those who have lost touch with their heart.  So are perpetrators of sexual violence and human trafficking. About 300 students came to see the film in Hiroshima.  One of them said, “Your film gives me a ray of hope.” I would like to continue to make such films from now on.

Japan’s JOSEI TEMBO Women’s Perspective magazine ~ Review of Sands of Silence

Josei Tembo (Women’s Perspective Magazine) is a feminist publication by the Ichikawa Fusae Center for Women and Governance, based in Tokyo.

Ichikawa Fusae was a Japanese feminist, politician and a leader of the women’s suffrage movement.

Kimiko Kubo is the current editor of Josei Tembo magazine and the Managing Director of the Ichikawa Fusae Center for Women and Governance.

Ms. Kubo wrote this three-page feature article after viewing Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage at our Cervantes Institute screening in Tokyo in October 2018.

It is remarkable that the article made the cover of their magazine, given the scarce coverage that issues of sexual violence and trafficking have in Japan.


Heart-wrenching trip to EL PASO, TX and CIUDAD JUAREZ, MX

A new app and the infatigable work of advocates like Verónica Corchado in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico,  is providing a safety network to the young girls at risk of being raped, kidnapped, trafficked and disappeared everyday while commuting for work or study through what’s been called the **most dangerous corridor in the world.**


When Liz Chávez of WISE LATINA INTERNATIONAL invited us to present Sands of Silence in El Paso, TX. I tried to obtain permission to visit the detention camps as journalist to no avail. Instead, we were able to take the temperature of a growing anti-immigrant wave that has become a tsunami as of this writing. We were able to visit a sex-trafficking shelter outside of El Paso and were denied entry at an immigrant shelter for fear we too may want to cause harm to the many families seeking asylum.

Sands of Silence Executive Producer Deirdre Roney and I were part of the panel that followed the screening, which focused on assisting victims of human trafficking. The panel, moderated by Lucía Dura, University of Texas at El Paso professor, included Laura Moreno, LPC, Victim Assistance Specialist, DHS|ICE|HSI. Ms. Moreno was challenged to answer questions by members of the public on the widespread sexual abuse that unaccompanied minors in custody are experiencing. She said that a separate agency, the Office of Refugee Resettlement, is making big efforts to solve that issue. Ms. Moreno also detailed how the agency she works for focuses on assisting the victims by providing counseling services, making sure that trauma-informed interviews are conducted, connecting victims with non-profit agencies and acting as liaison between victims and law enforcement.

We did travel to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico where we met the amazing advocate Verónica Corchado. Veronica has been an organizer and social activist for human rights in Ciudad Juárez, for more than 25 years. In the course of her work, she has been victim to five assaults. Committed to social change in her community, she has developed several platforms and strategies for the elimination of violence against women, including femicides. Among them an app to provide safety to young girls living in Juarez and crossing the border everyday to go to school or work in El Paso.

Veronica is currently **Director of the Municipal Institute of Women in Ciudad Juarez** and founder of the non-profit organization Colectiva Arte Comunidad, an umbrella organization for various projects empowering women through arts and culture. She is co-founder of the Cultural Community La Promesa.

Deirdre and I traveled to a hamlet in rural Michoacán state where we visited the maximum-security shelter for women and children SIN VIOLENCIA.

We are very happy that our visit allowed the shelter to receive a grant from DOLLIES MAKING A DIFFERENCE, a non-profit based in California, after hearing heart-wrenching stories of violence and abuse.

READ HERE Deirdre Roney’s recount of our visit to the maximum-security shelter.


On top of the safety app, there are 11 spread out through the most dangerous part of Ciudad Juarez, that are cell phone charging stations with 24 Hrs PANICK BUTTONS to alert police and the Municipal Institute for Women.

In the pictures, Chelo, Verónica Corchado and Deirdre Roney. And in the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez also with Elena Garza of Wise Latina International.

Universities – Presentations



Gender /Women Studies

Sociology   –  Psychology   –  Public Health

Law / Criminology   –   Public and Environmental Affairs

  Hispanic / Latino Studies   –   Rhetoric

Film /Media /Documentary Studies  – Journalism Studies


* In person presentations are marked with an asterisk


*Buenos Aires


*Griffith University, Brisbane


University of Alberta


Citi University of Hong Kong


*American University of Paris


*Hiroshima City University


*Wroclaw University


*Universidad de Barcelona

*Universidad Complutense, Madrid

*Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife

*Universidad de La Rioja

*Universidad de Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

*Universidad Miguel Hernández, Elche

*Universidad del País Vasco, Donosti


*Oxford University


*California Lutheran University

*California State University Channel Islands

*Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

*Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

*New York University

*Sacramento City College

*Southern Connecticut State University

*Suffolk Law School, Boston, MA

The University of Texas at El Paso

*UCLA Law School

*University of California, Irvine

*University of California, San Diego

*University at Albany – SUNY

*Westchester College, Westchester, NY

*Yale University