Making Sense

Sometimes the only thing that makes sense to me is making art.

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Resources Resources Resources

Anti-racism Resources

WFTV UK has put together some links to resources and information on anti-racism, including tools for parents to use with their children.

Feel free to circulate with your friends, family, and colleagues.

ARTICLES TO READ: 

  • “America’s Racial Contract Is Killing Us” by Adam Serwer – read here.
  • Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement (Mentoring a New Generation of Activists – read here.
  • “My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant” by Jose Antonio Vargas | NYT Mag – read here.
  • The 1619 Project (all the articles) | The New York Times Magazine – read here.
  • The Combahee River Collective Statement – read more
  • “The Intersectionality Wars” by Jane Coaston | Vox – read more
  • Tips for Creating Effective White Caucus Groups developed by Craig Elliott PhD – read here.
  • “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Knapsack Peggy McIntosh – read here.
  • “Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?” by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi | Atlantic – read here.

BOOKS

FILMS & TV SERIES TO WATCH:

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
  • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
  • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
  • Explained – The Racial Wealth Gap (Season 1, Episode 3) – Netflix
  • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent
  • King In The Wilderness  — HBO
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

VIDEOS TO WATCH

  • Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives – watch here.
  • “How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion – watch here.

 PODCASTS FOR ADULTS

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS TO RAISE ANTI-RACIST CHILDREN

Books

  • A is for Activist, Innosanto Nagara – hardcopy available here.
  • Anti-Racist Baby, Ibram X. Kendi – hardcopy available here.
  • Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson – hardcopy available here.
  • This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on how to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work, Tiffany Jewell – hardcopy available here.
  • Young Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present, Jamia Wilson – hardcopy available here.
  • Embrace Race – 31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance available here.
  • Knights of – publishes diverse children’s fiction book which you can find here.
  • News From Nowhere – anti-racist booklist available here.

Podcasts

  • Integrated Schools podcast episode “Raising White Kids” with Jennifer Harvey – listen here.
  • Parenting Forward: podcast episode ‘Five Pandemic Parenting Lessons with Cindy Wang Brandt – listen here.
  • Raising Free People: Fare of the Free Child podcast – listen here.

Articles

  • PBS: Teaching Your Child About Black History Month – read here.
  • Pretty Good: Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup – read here.

Coaching / Training 

EDUCATION TOOLKITS & RESOURCES 

  • Medium: 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice – read here.
  • Anti-Racism Project – learn more here.
  • Jenna Arnold: teaching resources – read more here.
  • Rachel Rickett: anti-racism resources – read more here.
  • Factual Atlas: Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race and Racism – read here.
  • Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide by Tatiana Mac – read here.
  • Showing Up For Racial Justice: educational toolkits available here.
  • 100 Year Hoodie: “Why is this happening?” — an introduction to police brutality – read more.
  • Zinn Education Project: teaching materials – read here.
  • Respect Me: Addressing Inclusion’ guidance – read here.
  • Anti-racist Educator – find all tools here.

CHARITIES YOU CAN DONATE TO

  • Show Racism the Red Card – an anti-racism educational charity that uses workshops and training sessions, among other resources, to educate on and combat racism. To donate, click here.
  • Runnymede – a registered charity and think tank that aims to “challenge race inequality in Britain through research, network building, leading debate and policy engagement”. To donate, click here.
  • Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust – named after Stephen Lawrence, a black teenager who was murdered at the age of 18 in a racist attack in southeast London. The trust is an educational charity, which was created “to tackle inequality in all forms” and is committed to “transforming the life chances of young people and improving the world in which they live​”. To donate, click here.
  • Stand Against Racism and Inequality (SARI) – provides support for people who have suffered hate crime, including attacks that were racist, homophobic, transphobic and/or sexist. To donate, click here.
  • Kick It Out – an organisation in England that uses football in order to promote equality and inclusivity. To donate, click here.
  • Stop Hate UK – originating in 1995 following the murder of Stephen Lawrence, Stop Hate UK is an organisation committed to supporting people affected by all forms of hate crime across the UK. To donate, click here.
  • Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) – based in Scotland, the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) is an initiative that is dedicated to combatting racial discrimination and harassment across the country. To donate, click here.
  • Discrimination Law Association (DLA) – works to improve equality law by bringing together a range of individuals, including discrimination law practitioners, policy experts and academics. To find out more, click here.
  • Race Equality First – for more than 40 years, Race Equality First has worked to raise awareness of and fight discrimination and hate crime in Scotland. To find out more, click here.
  • Black Lives Matter UK (UKBLM) – a coalition of Black liberation organisers across the UK. The organisation has set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe, with a target of £500,000. To donate, click here.
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Under the kitchen table

Set in New South Wales, Australia, this is a story about a young family, a jacaranda tree, a kitchen table and learning the importance of letting go… ———-Music: Hot October by Wood Spider from Free Music ArchivesCopyright: Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States https://crea…
— Read on www.buzzsprout.com/348590/3368515-under-the-kitchen-table


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Creatives in the time of a Pandemic

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2020

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Tools of the Trade

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Contribute a voice.






PATTI  HENDERSON

My work as a creator, storyteller, filmmaker.  Value your art. Contribute a voice.

Patti is an Alumnae TIFF, Film Fatales, WIFTUK and WOMEN IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR (WIDC), which chooses 8 women from across Canada to participate each year.

Her focus has, and always will be, storytelling. Her unique upbringing, combined with years of experience in the entertainment industry has helped to shape her into a vibrant Director with the ability, through passion, knowledge and experience, to elevate a wide range of scripts.

Human Journey

The central theme of my body of work concerns itself with the human journey: quest for self- realization, a place in the world and personal identity. I also have a strong passion for magic-realism and allegory and often use these devices to make the impossible – possible, digestible and tangible to the viewer and with the immense power of technology to help illustrate complex concepts, my artistic visions are realized.

Coming from a journalism background, it was a natural progression for me to move into filmmaking practice, a cinematic tradition, through a nonfictional art form, the documentary. Fear No Art – An Inquisition (1995) was a 5-minute ‘artumentary’ that explored the question, “what happens to an artist whose art work inspires protest?” I documented artist Katarina Thorsen’s journey as she works through the censorship, penalization from art galleries, the right to freedom of artistic expression and creativity and ultimately her own vulnerability.

Up The Wall was born out of the desire to explore the theme of artistic expression further, my own as well as a fictional characters, through a dramatic film.
Corinna, a visual artist, has fallen into the trap of imitating her favourite artists and in an attempt to find her ‘own voice’, inspired by the portraits in her grandmother’s old scrapbook, she takes on the task of capturing the essence of herself in a self portrait. Now…there is a unique psychological thing that takes place when you look into your own eyes and face and paint your own portrait. Your own face suddenly becomes a mirror to your soul, the real you, and strange things happen as you paint, in pursuit of the prize, ‘know thyself’.

When I (Patti) am creating, and in ‘the flow’… time stands still… the muse takes over. So I gave Corinna this same experience but with a twist, the muse doesn’t take over Corinna, it takes over the self portrait.
The next morning, this muse spirit is rudely awakened by the noisy, annoying neighbor and is left to it’s own devices to create it’s own peaceful existence.
As the self-portrait needed to come to life in order to interact with the world around it, I turned to technology to help me achieve this action. In 1996 I wrote this script and in 1997, after much research into technology, I approached the film as a new technology piece; a pathos driven comedy, in the fashion of silent movies, using new technology to make it come to fruition. The film was shot in 1997 with a Sony Canada sponsored prosumer video camera with interchangeable lenses. (As seen in the photo at the top of this blog) My intention was to do everything I couldn’t afford to do if I shot on film and pitched it as “how filmmakers will make films in the future”.
The film was finished in 1998. It included title on picture and numerous visual effects, as well as being delivered in three formats; digital letterbox, ‘filmlook’ digital letterbox and a 35 mm kinescope transfer.
The finished film was well received by all, except for the film festivals… Up The Wall was not accepted into any films festivals between 1998-2002 because it DID NOT ORIGINATE ON FILM. I wrote, co-produced, directed and edited this film, or should I say video?

Salmon Chanted Evening continued my exploration of the hero’s journey, now through an allegorical drama. I did not write this script but I did embrace the opportunity to direct it. It was one of three winning scripts, out of 350 submissions, to the CBC “2001: Fill-This-Space Odyssey” Film Competition. A story of a salmon fisherman, who fears he is losing his livelihood, falls into a daydream and ends up in the ‘somethin’s fishy’ bar where he is the catch of the day and his soul is vied for by mythological creatures. The writing spoke to my love of the rhetorical strategy of extending a metaphor through an entire narrative so that objects, persons, and actions are equated with meanings that lie outside the text. It also gave me the chance to visually create in the genre of magic-realism. Ultimately, the hero returns from his mysterious journey with renewed passion to return to his way of life, neither anticipating the future nor regretting the past. Ultimately the film is meant to connect us to our deeper selves and help the viewer along the heroic journey of their own life.

I felt compelled to broaden my questioning about human nature and the human condition, and from this query came the short films, Stella’s Birthday and I’m Going Home, dealing with human rights, multiculturalism and hope flourishing over repression.

Stella celebrates her birthday every year by listening to an old voice message recording from her family. Her imagination and hope are not repressed by her child labour circumstances.

I’m Going Home engages personification to give a palm plant from Madagascar human qualities… but aren’t all living things deserving of the same respect?

Chess Mates addresses the loneliness of the elderly and having the courage to reach out and make new friends.

The screen dance film The New Beginning, challenged me to express a story through dance. A mans love of politics, his wife and daughter, are tested when Chile has a coup d’état. After a period of estrangement, his daughter returns to reconcile, only to find her father has Alzheimer’s.

Happiness School, a walk through at the happiness school, with a young woman, concludes in her choosing the fun and easy ‘pretty’ program over the much longer but highly rewarding ‘enlightenment’ program.
A philosophical statement about society as a whole.

John and Melissa again offered me the chance to explore word play with a Theatre of the Absurd drama. Much of the dialogue in Absurdist drama reflects evasiveness and inability to make a connection, exposing the surface relationship of two office workers trying to keep their affair under wraps…

Miss Pearlman was an opportunity to again use technology to my benefit. An homage to 1930’s films; I used various techniques to combine a matte image with live-action footage so Miss Pearlman could live in the present through her memories of the past.
‘We are who we remember ourselves to be’.

Drink Like A Fish a story of a boy’s innocence and loss of innocence when faced with the idiom of ‘drink like a fish’. The loss of innocence, coming of age.

A central theme of my oeuvre concerns itself with the human journey: quest for self- realization, a place in the world and personal identity.

My curiosity about the different ways life offers us paths to ‘search for one’s bearings’ and how often those paths depend precisely on the specifics of one’s situation, has led me to take an unconventional approach to the notion of autobiography and as result, a surprising body of work to draw from.

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Story is everything

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Great Terrors

Why Emotional Excess is Essential to Writing and Creativity

“Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”

The third volume of Anaïs Nin’s diaries has been on heavy rotation in recent weeks, yielding Nin’s thoughtful and timeless meditations on life, mass movements, Paris vs. New York, what makes a great city, and the joy of handicraft.

The subsequent installment, The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 4: 1944-1947 (public library) is an equally rich treasure trove of wisdom on everything from life to love to the art of writing. In fact, Nin’s gift shines most powerfully when she addresses all of these subjects and more in just a few ripe sentences.

Anais Nin

Such is the case with the following exquisite letter of advice she sent to a seventeen-year-old aspiring author by the name of Leonard W., whom she had taken under her wing as creative mentor. Nin writes:

I like to live always at the beginnings of life, not at their end. We all lose some of our faith under the oppression of mad leaders, insane history, pathologic cruelties of daily life. I am by nature always beginning and believing and so I find your company more fruitful than that of, say, Edmund Wilson, who asserts his opinions, beliefs, and knowledge as the ultimate verity. Older people fall into rigid patterns. Curiosity, risk, exploration are forgotten by them. You have not yet discovered that you have a lot to give, and that the more you give the more riches you will find in yourself. It amazed me that you felt that each time you write a story you gave away one of your dreams and you felt the poorer for it. But then you have not thought that this dream is planted in others, others begin to live it too, it is shared, it is the beginning of friendship and love.

[…]

You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.

The Diary of Anais Nin, Vol. 4 is brimming with such poetic yet practical sagacity on the creative life and is a beautiful addition to other famous advice on writing like Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 rules for a great story, David Ogilvy’s 10 no-nonsense tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, Jack Kerouac’s 30 beliefs and techniques, John Steinbeck’s 6 pointers, and Susan Sontag’s synthesized learnings.

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“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

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