WEDNESDAY, MAY 29 – 7:30 PM
“No More White Presidents” is a multi layered abstract film that Rayna Russom, a white, recently out trans woman completed in January of 2017. For the film she developed what I am calling the “flash film” technique. Initially it was a structural device similar to the chance operations used by composers such as John Cage to get out of the practice of creating “slick” edits or “moves” predetermined by overarching institutionalized aesthetic norms. However, as she worked with it I began to discover that the technique, although certainly “experimental”, has more kinship with craft techniques I have practiced such as beading, knitting, weaving and braiding. Although on the surface it could simply be a long form music video for her Black Meteoric Star project, it is in fact a complex of evocative and energetic themes gathered around the necessity for abolition and reparations. The themes that are “braided” or “beaded” together include a repetitive meditation on death, an assessment of global capitalism as so overburdened by the karma of the triple legacies of slavery, land theft/genocide and imperialism that it can no longer function, an invocation of several of the Orishas prominent in the Afro-Cuban “Reglas Lukumi” and an exploration of her emerging Trans-Feminine identity. The intention of the film is to open up a territory for exploration and interpretation around our current predicament, allowing the viewer to come to their own conclusions about the specific details and possible solutions, both individually and through discussions with others. Screening followed by a Q&A/collective conversation.