Huffington Post and Welcome to Braggsville

Two months ago, I had the great opportunity to work on a creative response for Huffington Post’s book review of Welcome to Braggsville by T. Geronimo Johnson, as a runner-up in their fellowship program. The outcome of this challenge is this unsettling video that I produced departing from the book’ storytelling line and the Huffington Post’s review.

I chose this article because it is discussing the cultural biases one has to overcome in life and puts on display a conversation that aims at equality. The civil rights dialogue that the book depicts has a depth and dimension that requires an examination of guilt and responsibility. Thus, in my video piece I was interested into looking at how we continuously assimilate history and construct culture, and how we need an identity when we start losing it. The characters in Johnson’s book need an identity and they try to establish it by engaging in an act of rightness.

In the video, I investigate a dimensional view on the psychological self and that of the collective. Through an abstract lens I am exploring the stereotypes of the human experience. I am looking at what is identity when it is constructed based on a sense of superiority. The Four Little Indians’ performative intervention is born out of superiority depended upon what we are not. Therefore, I looked at the notion of time and how society is limiting our notion of pursuits.

The video asks for a relation to the spirit and invites to an experience beyond that of social circumstances. Here, time dilutes or accelerates, resisting the present and trying to reveal more of reality’s subtleties. This fusion relationship between motion and stillness reveals the conflicting pulls of doing and being, of how you are going to be treated and the expectations of telling the world how to treat you. My intent here is to punctuate attention on these issues into reflective pause and movement of just the right duration. The video registers thus moments inside others moments that are rich in substance and reimagine historical moments and monologues between representation and response.