Waking up covered in a thin layer of dirt. Dry skin.
Swallowing sand with every drink from your hydroflask.
Waking up to the sun baking your face. Baking your tent.
Tent floors covered in dirt.
Clothes covered in dirt. Underwear.
10am check in.
10pm Flying Lotus.
6pm Daniel Ceasar.
Flying in a hammock between times.
Reading between times.
Sleeping between times.
Meeting people between times.
Henna between times.
Dancing at the cliff side pool between times.
Bumping into people you didn’t know was there between times.
Grateful to have experienced something only 1200 other people were able to.
Always showing you something you didn’t notice.
Arcosanti is doing something “radical” just because they believe in it.
Arcosanti is paving the way for a more sustainable future.
Constantly and all at once.
Twirling around a cliff at 1am.
Struggling to unzip the tint because of heavy eyes and stiff fingers.
Shaking the thick layer of dirt that’s made your tent a home.
Crashing on a thin strip of cushion. Waking up to the sun.
My experience collaborating with St. Vincent De PauL
The collaboration I've done, and am currently completing, with St. Vincent De Paul has been an interested and invaluable experience. As it was my first time doing a collaboration like this with a community partner, I did not know what to expect and the guidance provided to me and my team by our Design and Arts Corp instructors alleviated the initial nervousness.
Our connect to St. Vincent De Paul, Marcelino, was an acting student at Arizona State University so working with him made the process all the more easy in terms of understanding the creative and production timeline as well as on-set production and directing actors. The moment when there was no more question about the creative agency that my team and I had on the project was when Marcelino went out of the way to remind us that he wanted us to take creative license over the project!
Something that St. Vincent De Paul has taught me about charity and service of others is that 1. people should not be labeled by their experiences 2. if you have the ability to assist then you should 3. there is a difference between band-aid fixes and long term solutions. St. Vincent De Paul is very wise in their wording and training of their volunteers. One example of this being, rather than saying homeless people saying people experiencing homelessness rehumanizes those in need. Simple changes in diction and syntax can mean the difference between dignity for most. St. Vincent De Paul is rooted in service of others and they feel as though if you have the means to assist than you should. Our capitalist American culture keeps us in the frame of thought that those who work for their money should choose 100% what they do with their money regardless of others. While this is understandable, America also has a homelessness and hunger issue and 1% of the countries population retains most of the wealth. That's just something to keep in mind. Last, but most certainly not least, St. Vincent De Paul operates on short terms and long terms. For example, they provide family dinners every night which allow families to eat but also source and assist ways in which these same families can find long term solutions to their family struggle.
The largest struggle with this collaboration has less to do with St. Vincent De Paul and more to do with the fact that my team and I are students with full class schedules, multiple jobs, extracurriculars, and creative projects and scheduling was certainly our largest issue.
Before this experience, I decided I had never wanted to go commercial and end up creating PSA's, Commercials, and other kinds of videos that I deemed lacked creativity but what I've found is that anything can be creative if I allow it to be! If the work we were doing with St. Vincent De Paul were to continue, I would love to maintain their social media to bring service into the lifestyles of more people that I know!
As defined for the purposes of this statement, and as described by Ethics in Community-Based Design and Arts Relationships, ethics "are the moral principles that govern people's behaviors and how we conduct activities." It's the way that we figure out "what's right based off of personal, moral, legal, and social traditions."
As an artist, as filmmaker specifically, I find myself in contact and collaboration with many different kinds of people. This is not just culturally but also socially and with different creative processes - so they're different as artists as well. Design and illustration have a different creative process and timeline than does filmmaking. Even within design architecture has a different creative process and timeline than does graphic design. These, for example, are important roles in a film in terms of set design and titling. Being able to make sure that everyone is R-E-S-P-E-C-Ted and accommodated throughout filmmaking is the goal as it is a collaboration.
Now, what does R-E-S-P-E-C-T mean?
As clearly defined by Ethics in Community-Based Design and Arts Relationships:
Concerns and Fears
More specifically, I am currently working on a PSA for St. Vincent De Paul and we have constraints to this project (time, desires of the partner, etc.) that we have to work within. Understanding that St. Vincent De Paul has specific Catholic-based morals, enables my team and I to carefully construct something that aligns with their morals as well as something that we are passionate about (creation and storytelling).
With SVDP, being able to observe and understand the way in which they do things such as greet each other, the vernacular they use, etc. enables us to show proper respect to them. In our initial meeting with SVDP, we took a tour of their facility and heard their story. While I am not a religious person, the story of their founder and their call to action about giving back to the community through charity is touching and something that I value. While SVDP is based in Catholicism, they extend their reach to all communities which plays into the sociocultural context of their organization and the role that they play in the community. The power dynamic at SVDP isn't corporate or hierarchal in anyway, more so community based. There are providers and there are receivers but it is also reversed because both parties are constantly receiving and giving from and to each other. SVDP by design is an empathetic organization which makes it easy to understand why they do what they do. Those in need always know that they have an entity to depend on. While we have not spoken about concerns and fears, our group is dedicated to showing SVDP in a positive light rather than depicting those in need we will depict the resources of SVDP. We want to not only show those in need that they have somewhere to go, we also want to show those who can help and way in which they can. Last, but not least, ensuring that we trust each other. After meeting with our partner, we have a clear understanding of who they are as an organization, what they offer, what they believe, and how they want to express themselves.
Being able to work ethically, in the most general terms, makes it easier for projects to be completed and typically makes it easier to make decisions. What should we do? Well what principles are we working off of?
Things to consider and keep in mind in terms of ethics as defined by Ethics in Community-Based Design and Arts Relationships:
Conflict of Interest
Grossly Unethical Behavior (Abuse, Harassment, Hate, Harm)
Our partner, SVDP, knows that we are students which means our work may not necessarily be up to par with Warner Brothers but they know that we are learning and willing to do our best. Creating this PSA in a place where people come to receive assistance may cause some issues and sometimes embarrassment from those in need. When putting together our PSA we will be making it clear what we will be doing as well as ensuring that those appearing on camera will know when/why and have the proper forms filled out to use them. In terms of conflicts of interest, the only one that I can think of is the religiosity of SVDP. In the beginning, I thought that I would feel uncomfortable in the environment but SVDP, while based in the Catholic faith, they are very open-minded and welcoming. In the end of the day, the values of their organization align with mine. Last, but most certainly, not least, grossly unethical behavior is something to look out for in any area.
Ethics are ever changing as we become more and more self, culturally, and socially aware. Willingness to be openminded, analyze self and others, and change as more is revealed is highly necessary and encouraged.
As a community partner, these requisites for collaborating with others will be at the forefront of my mind always to ensure that a mutual respect and appreciated outcome with result.
All in all, I am excited to be creating this PSA for SVDP.
Robert Zemeckis’ 1994 film Forrest Gump epitomizes the type of film that comprises of the mother/whore dichotomy, the active/passive split, as well as saving and punishing women when it comes to the representation of women in film.
Groups of people who are usually referred to outside of the main narrative of American history have pleaded for representation and visibility throughout history. From the Indigenous people of the Americas wanting a less barbaric look to Lantinx people wanting to be presented as more than a housemaid, representation has long been something that minorities wanted. One minority of people had their shine but was it all sparkle? The Blaxploitation genre of the 70’s brought Blacks into the overwhelming current of mainstream film. While some, like the actors, directors, and musicians of the time, expressed gratitude for visibility others, like the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, did not agree with, and often publically spoke out against, the portrayal of Blacks that was widely shown in the Blaxploitation genre of film. Even today, the Black community is in constant disarray about the sort of representation that is shown in today’s pop culture. More recent films, according to the NAACP, have the ability to be labeled as Blaxploitation films. The opposing opinions of the Blaxploitation genre and the effect that it has had on today’s Black filmmakers and actors validate as well as invalidate the everlasting result of a genre that brought Black’s to the front of the stage.
Each day we get on average 23 hours, 53 minutes, and 4 seconds to make it something we're proud of.