I am working on a new short film project. It all began last summer when I attended a conference where a panelist reflected that he did not know much about 'white culture.' What is white culture anyway?
It is true that we rarely talk about white culture, and that is because whiteness is the dominant structure of our society. The cultural choice to not talk about whiteness empowers white people. Why is that? Because we can't be responsible for something we don't name. But white culture consumes America; it is everywhere and everything around us, which is what makes it feel invisible. But in fact, it is very visible, if we are willing to identify it.
Once we start to identify white culture, it can be painful for white people. We have to face the fact that our culture is violent, and that we spend a lot of time identifying the "other"; which creates scapegoats for our problems. I believe this haunts us.
One tenet of whiteness is its centrality, so a project like this runs the risk of once again, centering whiteness. I ask viewers to consider that when we identify something it helps us transform it. This film is for white people to engage in that work.
This will be a deeply personal short based on my own life, narrated by me. It will include series of images and audio clips that will elicit emotion and spark discussion about whiteness and white culture in America.
Imagine a 7 min. film that you could show as part of a workshop, meeting or family gathering. I'm also considering whether we should create a museum-style installation for people to interact with in different spaces (traditional museums and non-traditional spaces such as churches, community centers, libraries, etc.).
Transformation is about love. This is a project made with profound love for all humans.
If your group is interested in learning more, send me a quick note on our contact us page.
If you want to dive in now, check out this reading list:
White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
Why Does Patriarchy Persist? By Carol Gilligan and Naomi Snider
NYTimes Opinion Piece, by Darlene Cunha (read beyond the headline to see how it's relevant to this project)
Sending light and love to all in the new year.