SWITCHIN’, an experimental lyrical dance film using vocal percussion to explore the mixed reality of black voices in a white world.
Language is the building block of every civilization which shapes culture, identity, and community. Accompanied by contemporary dancer, Deja Hood, SWITCHIN' explores African American communication habits and the policing of said language for white spaces.
Developed over time, the African American or black community produced its own distinct inter-community non-verbal and verbal language to counter American culture. Through certain phrases, words, and gestures we have crafted a vocabulary that varies in emotional meanings and is uniquely universal to black spaces; however, to thrive in patriarchal white America, African Americans learned the skill to survive and compete in mainstream culture. Code-switching.
Gleaning from the message of Solange’s song F.U.B.U., the goal of the SWITCHIN’ is to illustrate and celebrate the language of African Americans in comparison to the appropriation and manufacturing of said communication by white people who “get so much from us (black people) then forget us”.
To this date SWITCHIN has screened at the Athens International Film and Video Festival, London International Web & Shorts Film Festival (UK), Black Harvest Festival in Chicago and has won Best Experimental Short, Best Editing at the DePaul. This would not have happened unless for my awesome cast and crew. Tyler Adams Leiby (Cinematographer), Jeff Ryan Sound Mixer, Ajoa Darko (1st AD), and Deja Hood (Dancer). Cast: Catherine David, Joseph McGhee, Delysa Richards, Joseph Goggins, Madelyn Loehr, J Michael Wright and Keyon Ras.
International Symposium on Screendance at the University of Madison, Wisconsin United States April 11-13, 2022 Emerging Perspectives Roundtable