Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Making Something Out of Anything: Insight from the Eye to Eye Collaborators

Lorde Deliberate T-ShirtLast night was the last session of  the Brilliance Remastered Webinar Eye to Eye: Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars!    I know that I'll be missing the weekly webinar wavelength sharing love exchange until the next unit of the webinar (Beyond the Feel Good based on Lorde's Uses of the Erotic) starts in July.   But I also know that we created something powerful and I have a whole new clarity about the collaborations in my life and some exciting new collaborations that pranced right into my life from my dreams this month!

Using the Mothering Ourselves Manifesta we acknowledged the fact that collaborating allows us to evolve out of the language of struggle into the language of creativity we are not making "something out of nothing" we are honoring what is present in our lives and our communities and mobilizing our creativity to make something out of ANYTHING!  This week's group poem celebrates that clarity. Enjoy!

by the participants in the Eye to Eye Webinar on Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars

“We can make something out of anything.”  From the Mothering Ourselves Manifesta distilled from Audre Lorde’s Eye to Eye: Black Women Hatred and Anger

We can make something out of anything.
We can make home out of movement
We can make a movement out of feet stuck in the same mud.

We can make reality out of dreams
We can make family out of distances
We can make eternity out of the shortest stolen moments

We can make mothers out of brothers
We can make mothered mothers mothering abundant out of would-be martyrs suffering  in silence (ourselves)
We can make love out of heartbreaking laws.
We can make delicious banana fritters out of overipe fruit we forgot.
We can make ourselves anew in order to recognize & show up for our brillance...
We can make  difference be the springboard for greatness...
We can make our own cool, cultured collabos!
We can make it ALLL. Right!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Just Saying/ See You There: Love Languages for Collaboration

Yesterday was our third Eye to Eye Webinar session on love, faith, difference and communication entitled "The Only Language I Know."  We shared our poetic clarity about how we communicate differently based on our experiences, our approaches, our fears and our longings and how sometimes words seem to fail us all together.  Our group poem represents our visioning process of creating a space where there is room for everyone we are, and who we are not, and who we might become together.

Just Saying/See You There

By the Brilliance Remastered Eye to Eye Participants
After Audre Lorde’s “At First I Thought You Were Talking About…”
I speak the language of roots up, all the way everything must be changed.
She speaks the language of measurable deliverables.
I speak the language of rainwater-clarification-process-matters.
They speak jampack big words together like a train

I speak the language of here right here at home.
He speaks the language of inevitable uprise class struggle like science.

I speak in things felt a knowing of my bones
He through well thought out equations elaborate logic models
I speak in hope
Him pragmatism

I speak "like me"
She speaks I like you, but not always
She speaks me first. She speaks my kids first. She speaks secrets

I speak 69 years. He speaks FaceBook

I speak plan with flexibility.
They speak plan and stick to it.
I speak student wants and needs
They speak stick to what we need to see only

I speak possible risky let's do it
they speak practical hedged bet sacrifice
I speak concepts & ideas are real, they are tangible, touchable.
They speak “huh, what you what you talking bout sistah?”

I speak seek the relationship
They speak: seek the product(s)

I speak the language of the academy sometimes
he speaks shyness, grammar of booze and sex
sometimes I speak no grammar language

But I know that:
“Black girls are from the future”[1]  and that
“Everything we do is insignificant. Yet it is incredibly
important that we do it.” [2] And that
Children are full people who have something to say
And that trusting is like tree roots and we reach down, tangled up
And that everything we need is already within us
And that I am who I am doing what I came to do
And that our silence will NOT save us.

SO I am seeking the place where the language of risky radicalism
meets the pragmatism of those who have seen the consequences
the place where afrofuturefearlessness meets blackbloodsoilhistory
the place where we feel whole meets
the place where we are allowed to be prisms of light

the place where faith meets shaking legs

the place where level headed realists can meet starry eyed dreamers
the place where good intentions meet critical implementation
the place where longing meets listening
the place where yes meets i know
the place where why meets when

the place where--as white people--we remember without expectation of forgiveness
we account for what has been lost and stolen
the place where but i have _______ friends, so I couldn't be __________
meets self introspection

the place where bourgie balancing meets grace
where press and curl meets this is my natural curl

the place where longing children meet absent parents
the place where wholeness meets brokenness
where miracles equal a mere embrace

the place where courage (like jumping into a cold river)
meets self-determination (where are the rocks at the bottom)
the place where the long night meets the pale kiss of morning
the place where water and sky are indistinguishable

the place how i was raised meets raise UP!
the place where can't get right GETS RIGHT

the place where hope meets salvation
where the souls of the living dance hot and fast in love, light
and treating each other right

the place where the love you always wanted meets the love you always had

See you there.

[1] Renina Weems
[2] Ghandi

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Be Like: A Poetic Vison of Collaboration

like water, like sunlight, like stone
Yesterday was the second session of the Brilliance Remastered Eye to Eye Webinar on Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars.
We talked about what is at stake our collaborations, nothing less than the world we want to live in and create together.   We supported each other in holding ourselves to a standard where our collaborations themselves embody the values we have for our future, and where the impact of that collaborative work on US is not sacrificial, but also consistent with the nourishing vision we have for our species on the planet.
We made ourselves poets with this similie standard for what our collaborations can feel like, what our futures can feel like, what our days right now can feel like.

Be Like: A Poetic Vision for Collaboration 

by the participants of the Eye to Eye Webinar on Radical Collaboration for Community Accountable Scholars

like breathing, like recognition, like gratitude
like manna from heaven, free and plentiful for all
like eye contact, like risky breath, like skin
like ease, like willingness, like welcoming
like food on the table, like real justice for all, like freedom
like deep earthy soul bearing funky togetherness
like sisters I never had, like a family we are making everyday
like the joy of decoding a secret language
like celebration, like faces touching, like cherished communion and congratulation
like everyday cheer for your graduation from another insight-filled day of being you
like a shower, refreshed remembrance that I don’t have to be everyone
like a rub on the back looking at me eye to eye
like face to face, foreheads pressed in affirmation
like life sustained, like clean water, like no more premature deaths
like being excited and grateful you exist
like love, like love, like loving
like coming home at last

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Black Feminist Film School (The Website) is Born!!!

light meter in front of suzanne, mother billie in background
Spring is thoroughly SPRUNG and collaborators Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Ph.D. and Julia Roxanne Wallace, M.Div. are proud to present their newest dream come true: Black Feminist Film School!!!
Read our founding document Create Anew: Black Feminist Filmmaking as Spiritual Leadership by Julia Roxanne Wallace!
Read about our first superstar public event on Black Feminist Filmmaking featuring the early works of Cheryl Dunye and the brilliance of Yvonne Welbon, Katina Parker and Julia Roxanne Wallace here:
Check out our first Black Feminist Film forum on Camille Billops and Suzanne Suzanne with reflections by Kai Green, Julia Wallace and Alexis Pauline Gumbs here:


How can you get involved?

1. Email to get on our Black Feminist Film School update list so you can get notices about our screenings and workshops!
2. Save the date August 15-22 to come to Durham, North Carolina for our first experimental, healing, ancestor accountable exercise in performance and documentation as part of Queer Black August in Durham! (email to get updates about Queer Black August specifically)
3. Contribute!  Do you have a rare Black feminist film to send to our library? Are you a Black feminist filmmaker that wants to donate a film or speak at a screening?  Do you just love the project and want to donate money towards this crucial and long overdue manifestation of brilliance?  Email us at or donate here:


About Black Feminist Film School

Born out of our frustration with the glaring exclusion of films and discourse by, about or for Black women in Julia's film school experience and our deep love for the possibility of Black feminism in all forms,  Black Feminist Film School is a collaboration between Black feminist scholar/filmmaker Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Ph.D and Black feminist filmmaker/scholar Julia Roxanne Wallace, M.Div.


Our project has 2 key components:

Jessie Maple - First black woman to create feature film
1. Is there Black feminist tradition in film? Make space for a discourse about Black feminism in film and a conceptual framework in which contemporary filmmakers and theorists of film can participate in, measure, look out for and/or critique the presence or possibility of Black feminism specifically in the medium of film/video by
  • screenings and discussions of rare/underdistributed films by Black women directors/writer/producers in our hometown of Durham, North Carolina and around the country.
  • online forums on this site by Black feminist scholars about the possibility of Black feminism in important films by Black women
  • sharing information about the locations of rare/hard to see films by Black feminist filmmakers
  • developing a curriculum on Black feminist film, piloted in a community setting
Julia in Green Screen Studio
2. Where my Black feminist filmmakers at?  Infuse Black feminist community, and in particular under-represent Black women and genderqueer filmmakers and future filmmakers with the skills to use film to express their visions and transform our society by:
  • hosting a series of accessible community workshops that share the skills of script-writing, producing, shooting, lighting, editing, sound and all the other skills crucial to making high quality films
  • creating partnerships between existing institutions/equipment sources and potential Black feminist filmmakers
  • building community between existing Black feminist filmmakers, with an emphasis on queer and genderqueer Black filmmakers
  • creating an all queer of color and allied cast and crew for Julia's upcoming film!