Title: Pen Up the Pigs
Date: Friday, April 18th
Time: 5:00 PM
Place: Tapps Art Center
Through experimental animation, I attempt to evoke the radical histories of resistance that were born directly from the south during slavery (Nat Turner of Virginia begins the first moment of radical resistance in the film, with animated gestures of his rebellion), along with many other historical and contemporary figures that play(ed) major roles in resisting institutionalized racism (Angela Davis of Birmingham, Alabama). Images of the southeast are integral throughout the film, from the plantation scenes as well as the literal cut-out of a modern day prisoner at the Louisiana State Penitentiary picking cotton as many of the prisoners there are, to this day, forced to do. And so through the strength of slave rebellion leaders and political activists born of the southeast, set against the backdrops and historical moments throughout the south, “Pen Up the Pigs,” is fiercely connected to the South and it’s histories of resistance.
I was inspired to make this work after organizing against racist police brutality in my community. I wanted to look into histories of police systems in our country and found that many modern day police departments as we know them, were born from historical slave patrols. I wanted to make a film exploring these themes in an attempt to better understand moments and movements of resistance against such systemic and pervasive racism.
I knew I wanted to make films ever since I started working at Blockbuster when I was 16. I started experimenting with animation when I was in college and immediately fell in love with the process. I love that I am able to utilize household objects like paper, markers, scissors, and other simple tools, to make elaborate and politically charged films. The great thing about animation is that although it takes some time, it doesn’t require anything other than yourself and your own perseverance.
I am so excited for the Indie Grits Film Festival and for the chance to meet other filmmakers exploring the South’s rich history and landscape in their films. I’m excited for a week of amazing films, filmmakers, film audiences, and exploring the awesome city of Columbia! People should be sure to check out my film, Pen Up the Pigs, if they’re interested in colorful, experimental animation and amazing histories and stories of resistance against oppression!