Maracuya is Spanish for passionfruit. As multimedia storytellers, our work represents the fruits of our passion. We are a partnership whose combined experience spans filmmaking, journalism, and human rights documentation in the U.S. and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. By bridging our talents in new and traditional media, we tell stories that inspire, elucidate, and interpret our changing world.
A radio-journalist by training, Madeleine Bair has been carrying a microphone in her backpack since she belonged to the Oakland bureau of the pioneering youth media organization, Children’s Express. After chasing Hillary Clinton down for an interview in China and being yelled at by J.C. Watts at the Republican National Convention, the little girl with pigtails and a yellow notepad decided that poking her freckled face in unexpected places was her calling. Since then, she has upgraded from cassette to digital, and taught radio production to young adults, worked on a morning show at Chicago Public Radio, and produced multimedia for Human Rights Watch. Her reporting has taken her to West Africa and throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, where she has worked as a print and multimedia reporter with a focus on culture, human rights, and globalization. Her stories have appeared in the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Orion, and the Huffington Post among other outlets, and broadcast on public radio programs including PRI’s The World and Afropop Worldwide. At WITNESS, an international nonprofit leveraging the power of video storytelling for human rights advocacy, she works as the Curator of the Human Rights Channel on YouTube. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, Madeleine holds a B.A. in Sociology and an M.A. in both Journalism and International Studies.
Betty Bastidas was born in Ecuador and came to the United States at the age of nine. When her father gave her a camera two years later, her passion for photography was born. As an immigrant child, Betty found in the camera a tool to explore and understand her new surroundings, and to navigate the two cultures in which she found herself sandwiched—American and Latino. Her eyes have not strayed far from a viewfinder ever since, as she has worked her way from freelance photojournalism to producing and directing her own documentary films. She is attracted to issues of youth, immigration, and identity, and stories that celebrate the strength of the human spirit. Betty’s work has taken her around the world, from Southeast Asia to Latin America, and has garnered numerous awards, including the NALIP/HBO Documentary Award, a grant from the NALAC Fund for the Arts, and the NYFA Photography Fellowship. Her photographs have been published in the New York Times, VIBE, and Esquire, and her documentary short on Afro-Ecuadorian soccer players was broadcast on PBS’s Frontline/World. Betty holds a B.S. in Marketing from NYU, an M.A. in Journalism and Documentary Studies from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and a certificate in documentary photography from the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies in Maine. She is based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.