Recently participated in the panel presented by Indie Memphis & Crosstown Arts
co-hosted by Mark Adams & Alan Spearman.
MicroCinema Club presented "ELLIS" starring Robert De Niro, written by Eric Roth & directed by JR. It was a special screening of the short film ELLIS, followed by an open discussion with artists Mark Adams, Penny Karwacz, Yasmine Omari, Alan Spearman & Yancy Villa-Calvo on the themes of immigration, migration and using art to generate sustainable social, political and cultural change.
ELLIS awakens our collective memory, taking you back to the early years of Ellis Island through the experience of one immigrant. Set in the abandoned Ellis Island Hospital complex and using JR’s UNFRAMED art installations, ELLIS tells the forgotten story of the immigrants who built America. It is the story of the ghosts of our countries past, the individuals who fled poverty, discrimination, and dictatorships, for a chance at a new life and eerily foreshadows the plight of those who currently seek the same opportunities and safety in this country and other parts of the world. The short narrative film stars Academy Award® Winner Robert De Niro, is written by Academy Award® Winner Eric Roth, and is directed by the artist JR.
For more information, please visit the film’s website: http://www.ellis-themovie.com/.
It was quite fulfilling as many of us shared our stories and recognized there are so many ways in which we are connected not only through art but also through life experiences. It was also a time of reflection following the attacks on Paris of Nov. 13th, 2015 and the sad unwelcoming positions of many governors in the US towards Syrians and muslims refugees.
The open discussion at Crosstown was very effective and towards the end of the night a new group was formed to TAKE ACTION. At first, we are starting a facebook group called Memphis Loves Refugees and Immigrants Join us and help us make Memphis a better place by embracing refugees and immigrants who are seeking a better life.