Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Needham, Jay


The present thesis document delves into constructing a creative methodology within documentary ecology to approach narrative intersections between P'urhépecha families from Cherán, Mexico, living in Cobden, Illinois, and Monarch butterfly migration across North America. Doing so entails merging essential notions from Cultural Theory, Third Cinema, Native American and Indigenous Futurism, and Documentary futurism to draw a transdisciplinary approach invested in active negotiation across two sensitive realms in response to the experience of migration. "Footprints in the sky", the resulting creative project, merges elements from documentary film, experimental narrative, and the film essay, using Monarch butterfly migration as a metaphor in dialogue with the stories of migrant families from Cherán now living in Cobden. This multidisciplinary effort aims to shed light on the potential of the Monarch butterfly engaged with Indigenous Futurism as a multidimensional metaphor to negotiate trans-national corporate power, Nation-State borderland management, and the criminalization of immigration in a context marked by the continued prominence of neoliberal policies in North America.




This thesis is only available for download to the SIUC community. Current SIUC affiliates may also access this paper off campus by searching Dissertations & Theses @ Southern Illinois University Carbondale from ProQuest. Others should contact the interlibrary loan department of your local library or contact ProQuest's Dissertation Express service.