I think there’s an assumption that the past is fixed and we have to recover it somehow. As in, there was a fact that happened, you will recover this fact, and then you will know what it means. The truth is that the past is in many ways as fluid as the future.
Adam Golub is an Israeli-American documentarian, media artist and videographer based in Brooklyn, NY. He completed his master’s in journalism at Columbia University in 2012 and the Collaborative Studio program at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art in 2014. His film “I Was Here First” (2015), about the exodus of DIY art spaces from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, premiered at DOC NYC. His film “Skin,” (2017) a portrait of a young black trans activist in Rio de Janeiro, won Outstanding Documentary Short at Art of Brooklyn Festival and Best New York Short at Newfest, New York. His feature doc “Your Mother’s Comfort” (2020) premiered at Sheffield Doc/Fest and won the Grand Jury Award at Outfest, Los Angeles, as well as honorable mention at NewFest, New York.
Denise Frohman is a poet, performer, and educator from New York City. A CantoMundo Fellow, she’s received residencies and awards from the National Association of Latino Arts & Cultures, Leeway Foundation, Blue Mountain Center, and Millay Colony. Her work has appeared in The BreakBeat Poets: LatiNext, Nepantla: An Anthology for Queer Poets of Color, The New York Times, ESPNW and garnered over 10 million views online. A former Women of the World Poetry Slam Champion, she’s featured on national and international stages from The White House to The Apollo, and over 200 colleges and universities. She co-organized #PoetsforPuertoRico and lives in Philadelphia.
We have a moral responsibility to become the most ourselves we can be. In order to do that, I think kindness, justice, compassion, empathy, art, truth, and beauty better facilitate our ability to be uniquely ourselves than do injustice, cruelty, acrimony, lies, etc. It is more of a function of how we fulfill our purpose. In that sense, faith and spirituality motivate my sense of justice.
To me, this is a really interesting example of how complex racism can be. It doesn’t matter if Kodak was acting in a racist way, because the lived experience of people was the same. If you were a person of color who was trying to get your wedding photo taken, that was the grinder with Kodak. You have dark skin and a white dress. If you’re a photographer trying to capture the detail in the dress, all of her skin tone is gone. She just turns into kind of a black smear. No bride wants to spend all the money on a dress for her special day and see no detail in the pictures.
During your reading at Wednesday Night Poetry, you said something that struck a chord with me, which was: “My being alive is a protest even if it is a protest against something inside of me that I am struggling with.”
Yes. I have been having a difficult time figuring out my place as a poet and what my responsibility is as a poet, especially as a poet of color that identifies as Afro-Latina. I’ve been trying to figure out how to lend my voice and whether my voice needs to be heard or not, and whether what I have to say is important.