The CAMRA Fellows Showcase highlights the work of current and past CAMRA Fellows – undergraduate multimodal researchers who work with graduate student mentors to produce innovative scholarship in a variety of media. This year’s fellows and mentors use film, photography, and other modalities to explore a wide range of topics such as queer expression and healing, Black family histories, and racial inequalities in housing markets. The showcase features their works-in-progress and provides a constructive, generative space to share feedback, support, and ideas.
Moderated by Dallas Taylor & angel gutierrez, CAMRA Mellon Fellows Friday, March 25, 2:00 PM — 4:30 PM Eastern
Telling Our Stories: A Philadelphia Community Media Oral History Project
Lauren Davidson Mentored by Antoine Haywood
Telling Our Stories is a community documentary project that features first-person narratives told by people of color who use public access television and community radio platforms to engage in local and transnational storytelling networks.
The Cinematic Slum: Mere Gully Mein Gentrification?
Yendi Guindo Mentored by Indivar Jonalagadda
Taking three music videos of the Bombay rap smash hit “Mere Gully Mein” (In My Street), the original by DIVINE and Naezy, an homage by FAMOUS Crew, and a Bollywood version from Gully Boy, we present a theory of the “cinematic slum” operating through three registers: “representation”; objectification ; and gentrification. The three registers are defined by differences in perspective, participation, and people-place balance. The essay is an experiment in doing ethnographically informed videographic criticism and it could be a potentially useful teaching tool bridging interests in popular media and visual anthropology.
Race-making in Residential Real Estate
Carlos Montes Mentored by Rachael Stephens
This year, Carlos Montes (he/they) and Rachael Stephens (she/her) explored the importance and the challenges of denaturalizing cultural categories such as “whiteness/Other-ness,” “queerness/normativity,” “good/bad neighborhood,” and so on. After working through some of the theories of cultural production, Carlos turned to Rachael’s dissertation, which examines processes of race-making in relation to school finance inequity and real estate. Carlos used this opportunity to experiment with/practice different methods for denaturalizing the multimodal processes of producing cultural categories By looking at the prevalence and usage of cultural categories employed in real estate listings and other print media from the 20th century to the present, Carlos underscores the necessity, as well as the difficulties, of studying the production of categories that are typically taken for granted and go unquestioned. Building on these insights, Carlos will explore what a critical approach to the production of categories in his thesis project—Queerness, Status and Performance in Postdisaster Puerto Rico—could look like.
Re-Possessing Being & Time: Voguing, Queer Expression, & Healing
angel gutierrez Mentored by Atenea Rosado-Viurques
Drawing upon Black and Indigenous Feminist scholars, activist, and artists, this projct takes inspiration from the question, “How can experimental ethnography be combined with voguing to concretely develop a Queer BIPOC archive and conceptually retake our own historicity – the ability to be of or have history?” The video uses voguing and interviews to expand upon ethnography in order to express discontent for colonialism’s dehumanizing representations of queer and racialized subjects, and forge for ourselves an ethnography of Queer expression and Black and Brown yearnings for psychic, social, and material liberation.
Black Family Accession
Tatiana Swain Mentored by Sophie Maddocks
Black Family Accession delves into the intricacies and intimate conversations that Black families hold with one another about their traditions through a journalistic and Afro-American background.
It focuses on four key factors through a personal camera and video lens placing the focus on my family’s traditions, cuisine, religion and music to show how each family member individually holds memories.
By utilizing the SSMF theme “Pause,” the project compares the living situations at my family home regarding how we have collectively grown within, grown out, and grown towards self, identity, and purpose while in the COVID-19 pandemic. It explains how during a time of strife and hardship families can continue to bond and alleviate the stress that comes from unprecedented times while continuously learning from one another on how to better themselves and each other.
Power Politics is Scribe Video Center’s oral history project, exploring strategies for Black and Latinx political empowerment in the city of Philadelphia. These oral histories, which cover the period from 1945 until today, look at how communities on the outside of political power have created strategies to be self-determining – through community organizing, electoral politics, educational reform, cultural production and creating economic opportunity.
trans/plant is a project with layering truths and modalities: the communion among my loved ones formed through the propagation and gifting of plants, the archiving of visual family histories, the assemblage offered by the connecting branches of these histories. The photos used in the project have been collected over the past two years and showcase the growth of my plant collection across time and space as I have grown older and moved from place to place.
My Black Side
My Black Side is an autoethnographic exploration of my dual identity as a Nigerian Black American and the complexity of global black identity. This film centers on myself and my family as we navigate what it means to connect and learn from each other living in a dual cultural household. My Black Side offers an intimate look into our family to highlight the challenges that black people across the diaspora face as they try to forge connections through cultural differences.
Jean Chapiro Mentored by Atenea Rosado-Viurques
This short documentary centers around Marne Lucas, an artist and end-of-life doula whose work centers around collaborating with terminally ill artists as she helps them produce what will become their last show or legacy project. But this film is also a reflexive piece about the ethics of storytelling and both the privilege and responsibility of being a storyteller.