Maine Movements for Black Life: a Documentary Film Series
Over the past year, the Movement for Black Lives has transformed many people’s understanding of policing, race, and inequality, as well as challenged our sense of what is possible. This movement has swept through many Maine towns and cities and posed important questions relevant to the Colby campus community. Moved by these mass mobilizations, Associate Professor Maple Razsa taught Global Studies 227: Visual Ways of Knowing (a Humanities Lab cross-listed in African American Studies, Anthropology, and Cinema Studies) as part of wider efforts to document these struggles at Colby and across Maine.In the Fall of 2020, students in this course created short documentary films to learn from and contribute to movements for racial justice. Guided by antiracist and Black radical interventions, movements, and theorizing, students highlighted Black experiences in Maine through collaboration and partnerships with local organizations, activists, artists, and other community members. Some of the featured organizations and Maine residents in the films include Maine Inside Out, Maine Youth Justice, Malaga Island, Arabella LaDessé, and Ashley Page.
This class was further made possible by the generous support of African American Studies, the Center for Arts and Humanities, Global Studies, and the Office of Engagement and Community Partnerships.
The films’ themes resonate with a current exhibition at the Museum, Miracles on the Border: Retablos of Mexican Migrants to the United States. We encourage you to visit the Museum in addition to attending the screenings.
These films will be screened virtually on Zoom for the whole community during select times this spring. Each film will be presented by the filmmaker with a Q&A after the screening. No pre-registration is necessary; please use the provided Zoom links to access the virtual programs.
Art and Expression
Thursday, April 22, 5:30–7 p.m. via Zoom
Micaela Duran ‘21, Iliana Gjeci ‘22
- Arabella LaDessé by Micaela Duran ‘21 (7.5 min) – Profile on Arabella LaDessé, a black New Hampshire-based Drag Queen who has amassed accolades such as Boston Drag Idol 2019 and Portland’s Blackstone’s Princess 2020.
- Purple by Iliana Gjeci ‘22 (4.5 min) – Purple depicts Kayla Wesley ‘21, a Colby student engaging in a variety of creative endeavors including mixed media art and music.
- Both and Neither by Iliana Gjeci ‘22 (7.5 min) – Both and Neither follows Ashley Page, a Portland-based artist from Minneapolis who was active in the protests in the twin cities against George Floyd’s killing. She produced a number of artworks associated with BLM.
Don’t miss the other films in this series:
- Black Maine – Friday, April 2, 3–5 p.m.
- Abolition and Incarceration – Thursday, April 8, 5:30–7 p.m.