We Tell: Environments of Race and Place – Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center

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We Tell: Environments of Race and Place

October 23, 2019 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm EDT

Wednesday, October 23, 7pm
$7 General, $5 Members, free for ArtsAccess Pass holders

We Tell: Environments of Race & Place is a screening of short, community made short films focused on issues surrounding immigration, migration, and racial identity unique to a specific environment. Including films by Outta Your Backpack Media, Third World Newsreel, among others. Don’t miss the Buffalo stop of this nationally touring screening series, with co-curator Patricia Zimmermann in person for introduction and Q&A.

91 minutes

San Francisco Newsreel, Black Panther a.k.a. Off the Pig (Newsreel #19), black and white, 15 minutes, 1967
Black Panther a.k.a. Off the Pig (Newsreel #19), also known as Off the Pig, documents the Black Panther Party in 1967. It was one of Newsreel’s most widely distributed films, made and used by members of the Black liberation movement. It contains a prison interview with Black Panthers’ Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton, an interview with Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver, footage of the aftermath of the police assault against the Los Angeles Chapter headquarters, and political demonstrations supporting Huey Newton’s release from jail.

Mimi Pickering, Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man, black and white, 39 minutes 1975
On February 26, 1972 in West Virginia, a Pittson Company coal-waste dam collapsed at the top of Buffalo Creek Hollow, leaving 125 dead and 4,000 homeless. Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man juxtaposes interviews with survivors, union and citizen’s groups representatives, and company officials. Pittson executives knew of the hazard in advance of the flood and that the dam’s structure violated state and federal regulations. Nevertheless, the Pittston Company denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that the disaster was an act of God.

Michael Siv and Aram Siu Wai Collier (Spencer Nakasako, facilitator), Who I Became, color, 20 minutes, 2003
Who I Became is the story of Pounloeu Chea, a first-generation Cambodian American. In the early 1980s, he and his family escaped from Cambodia and settled in San Francisco. In 1998, his father returned to Cambodia, leaving behind his wife and three sons. In 2002, his mother joined his father. Since her departure, Pounloeu was found guilty of driving stolen cars intended for export, and placed on parole. About to become a father, he must hold a job and obey the law to avoid being sent to jail or deported to Cambodia.

Yusi Brieland El Boujami, Ned del Callejo, Ariane Farnsworth, Shyanna Marks, Shelby Ray, and Amber Vigil from the Outta Your Backpack Workshop with Indigenous Youth (Klee Benally, facilitator), Legend of the Weresheep, color, 2:45 minutes, 2007
In this short animation, a sheep drinks water from a toxic factory and turns into a zombie. Legends of the Weresheep was made with hand-drawn images that feature a river next to a factory spewing out black smoke. A herd of sheep graze next to the river. When they drink the polluted water, toxic symbols are emblazoned on their fur. The film was produced by Indigenous youth participating in a Fall 2009 Media Workshop in Flagstaff, Arizona conducted by the activist media collective Outta Your Backpack.

Christi Cooper, Katie Lose Gilbertson, Kelly Matheson, Stories of TRUST: Calling for Climate Recovery: TRUST Alaska, color, 8 minutes, 2011 
Stories of TRUST: Calling for Climate Recovery is a ten-part series about youth, law, and justice. These short documentaries feature the voices of daring youth from across the country who went to court to compel the government to protect our atmosphere in trust, for future generations. In TRUST Alaska, seventeen-year-old Nelson Kanuk explains why erosion, floods, intense storms, and permafrost melt, threaten their homes, communities, and culture. Nelson’s story unfolds the human and environmental damage caused by climate change.

Myron Dewey, Digital Smoke Signals: Aerial Footage from the Night of November 20, 2016 at Standing Rock, color, 7:06 minutes, 2016
From April 2016 to February 2017, Standing Rock Indian Reservation members and environmental activists protested Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access Pipeline—built to move oil from the North Dakota Bakken oil fields to southern Illinois—with an encampment to protect water, land, and Indigenous sacred sites. Myron Dewey of Digital Smoke Signals (DSS) describes drone footage that captures the North Dakota State Troopers, the National Guard, and private contractors committing human rights violations against the Indigenous Water Protectors.

This screening is part of We Tell: Fifty Years Of Participatory Community Media: On the Frontlines of Politics and Place, 1967-2017, a nationally touring, curated screening series that explores and unearths the fifty-year history of participatory community documentary in the United States. It focuses on place-based documentaries that situate their collaborative practice in specific locales and communities. These works embrace and enhance the micro rather than the macro, moving away from the national to the local and from the long form theatrical feature to the short form of documentary circulating within and across communities and politics. The exhibition of comprised of six thematic programs that probe salient topics emerging in participatory community media. Exhibitors and programmers may select among these different programs, depending on their needs and programming space. Curated by Louis Massiah & Patricia Zimmermann.


Image: Christi Cooper-Kuhn, Katie Lose Gilbertson, Kelly Matheson, WITNESS, Stories of TRUST: Calling for Climate Recovery: Alaska (2011).


October 23, 2019
7:00 pm– 9:00 pm EDT
Event Category:


Squeaky Wheel
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Squeaky Wheel
2495 Main Street, Suite 310
Buffalo, NY 14214 United States
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