Dalia is currently a freshman at USC studying Media Arts, but more importantly, she’s the intern for Indie Grits Visiones. You will most likely find her commuting on her bike, for she may have almost hit you once or twice in the past on accident. When she’s not interning at the Nickelodeon or in class, she enjoys painting, playing accordion, and spending way too much money. She hails from Columbia, SC and aspires to someday end up making documentary/verite films and be fluent in at least four languages. If there’s one thing she intends to do in her lifetime, it’s to drunkenly karaoke to Dirty Diana and get every word right. She continues to hope.
Here’s her two cents:
Upon hearing the announcement for this year’s Indie Grits theme, I was instantly intrigued. For most of my life, living in Columbia, SC meant (at least to a confused and awkward teenager) being surrounded by backwards ideas and a very homogenous group of people. It wasn’t until I did what most teenagers want to do — to leave their home — that I was able to see the overwhelming strength of people in Columbia. To me, Visiones means a lot more than just a theme for Indie Grits. It represents the incredible sense of community that has been cultivated through art and conversations over the past decade. People here fight like hell to create change, and in my relatively short time of being alive, I have had the privilege to be taught by and work alongside many of those individuals, whether it was volunteering at Indie Grits or striking up a conversation at a coffee house.
Once I graduated from the Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities and returned to Columbia, I was eager to be a part of the city’s arts community. I was lucky enough to start interning for Indie Grits under Seth Gadsden, who somewhat feels like my Mr. Miyagi. As an Indie Grits intern, a normal day’s work could entail hanging upside down holding a camera to get that one shot or editing an interview of a filmmaker talking about how they had a life-changing experience watching Big Freedia twerk on stage. It was indeed life changing.
What excites me more than anything about this year’s Indie Grits is what will come out of it. During that week, there will be a slew of amazing filmmakers from all over the place congregating and exchanging ideas that might spark new projects. Newcomers to the festival who will experience a new side of Columbia. Artists sharing stories about identity. And inevitably, there will be a dance circle. Who knows what kind of mind-blowing future projects will emerge from those conversations that week of April 2017, but I sure am grateful to be a part of it.