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Creativity and Afrikan Town 313 Film Festival 3/13/22

Amidst the muddle of my plain and mundane roused the opportunity of attending a new, budding short film festival. “The Afrikan Town 313 Detroit Indie Short Film Festival ” (Here) courted the fervors of my better natured critical toils. Moreover, the mental contemplations and creativity of young filmmakers soon converted into my mental interpretations of their ambitions, intentions, and artistic discretions.  In short, figuratively and literally, I found myself “all up in their mentions,” as we toiled away in a dialogue about modernity and their art. The most consistent question posed to these young artists stationed as “What can we see from you in the near future.” Their answer, “any and everything.”

These bold young artists wielded talent and just as the commissioner of the festival, Nzinga LeJeune, discovered, the market and the block were hot. First, the feature came by way of a friend and associate of 21SCHIZM as Kelechi Ukachukwu. His short “How Social Media Ruined Us,” enamored the crowd with laughter and overtook our natural sensibilities, with its quirky and comedic take for how, well, social media has taken its toll on modern society. Surely, as most creatives can attest, their career does not come by way naturally. 

Sometimes Creativity Finds You Instead of You Finding It

At first Kelechi just wanted to dance. Moreover, he opined candidly, he had no idea how to work a camera. However, soon he immersed himself in the field and identified an uncanny knack for the artistry. Furthermore, When asked about his future, he affirmed he intended on traveling a lot more and whetting his appetite for both passions of dance and film. Above all, he affirmed his main purpose as “finding his voice.”

Another artist featured in the exhibition, OneSingleRose a black female Detroit poet framed the consistent and constant issue of making “#blacklivesmatter.” One lurid staple in the threadwork of the black mentality remains “how much utility does this society envision that I have.” Oftentimes, the silent but glaringly apparent answer is little to none. OneSingleRose contests the current framework of white homogeneity and the basic standard of living. In opposition to the more humorous tone of Kelechi, OneSingleRose addresses the historic and modern approach to public justice of black peoples.

The lynch mobs and public segratory behaviors, replaced by police brutality and racist jurists. Raising a black child in America, remains a challenge of seeming abhorration. OneSingleRose lists the names of slain, incarcerated and persecuted black persons. This OneSingleRose stands in monument to the majority of a minority and carries on the legacy of beautiful minds or mentalities muffled by an abrasive society. Hand in hand with her platform when asked about her future, she declared, “betterment of poetry and representation efforts.”

Love Often Holds Some Rein In Creativity

In addition, Atieno NyaR Kasagam’s piece “Sidelots” recounts the endeavor of “buying back black land,” whilst maneuvering through the story of young love. Over the duration of their toils in attempting to purchase blighted Detroit properties Atieno and her lover find themselves pregnant. They immerse themselves into the practice of urban farming and research their ancestral histories in the pursuit of finding meaning to their work. In the process of revisiting ancestral lands of Alabama and Kenya, they find the importance of family love and perseverance. Unfortunately, their young love does not last as they mutually decide to split. She gushes through tears, “I’m sorry to the family I have failed(…)” In the statement she reflects the pressure exerted on women to bolster their families. 

Photo by Bryan Garces on Unsplash

Instead of positioning her needs as paramount she must consider cordiality with her child’s father and the environment she nurtures for her children. Though at times her reservations surrounding her child’s father background as an African-American male do come into question. Those from African backgrounds comprehend the unfair stereotypes allaying African-Americans in the culture. Nevertheless, one cannot help, but sympathize with a young mother. When asked about her future she stated that she hopes to work on family and develop her penchant for film.

It’s No Secret That One’s Work and Its’ Public Esteem are Paramount

Over the course of this film festival, multiple emotions and sentiments arise. Nzinga LeJeune’s careful curation, consideration and vetting of these pieces shows through. She succeeds in the purpose of selecting a prime few for exhibition. A festival with three years in the books. Financed by Hampton University’s Maynor Biggers Artist Fund. Certainly, apparent is her eye for talent and creativity. Although other pieces were covered in the festival, the aforementioned were the ones with representatives for their works. All in all Nzinga’s coverage highlighted the gambit of psychological profiles. From love, to tragedy to comedy and satire. 21SCHIZM embraces it all!

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