B Scene @ The Bishop: Women and Men Making Media

The Bishop on Bedford was the early summer hot spot for the B Scene’s “Women and Men Making Media” event.  The B Scene events are put on by Brooklyn Free Speech, an organization that trains individuals in various aspects of media production and gives them a platform to showcase their works.

 

Chante and other moderatorChante Graham, one of the event’s moderators and the creator of the Ladies of Madison Avenue, started the event by discussing the need for independent films.  “It’s important to move away from the mainstream because everyone has a different creative mind,” she said.  The films that were displayed showcased a variety of creative talent.

 

 

 

 

 

Kung Fu Businessmen 1The first film of the evening, Kung Fu Businessmen, was produced by Easy Man, Arthur Evo, and Daniel Lopez.  The film follows a Latin guy and an Asian guy as they prepare for a job interview.  When the men learn that they are competing for the same position, they begin “Kung Fu” fighting in the street.  Their dynamic bodily contortions end once the Asian man knocks out the Latin man, races to the interview, and secures the job. Kung Fu Businessmen is an amalgamation of martial arts that cleverly addresses ethnicity in the workplace and society.

 

YUP ShowYUP Show (Young Urban Professional Show) was the evening’s second film.  There were a lot of questions from the audience about what a “YUP” is, so the show’s producer, Harold Williams, explained.  “YUP is based on how you view and live life.  A YUP can be any age.” The YUP Show, which airs every first and third Wednesday at 7 p.m., is an eclectic mix of New York’s city, life, and music culture.  Williams said that he created the YUP Show to highlight the social side of Black intellectuals.  “You can be Black and intelligent, and not come from the hood. We go to art galleries too.”  He also addressed how television helps to shape viewers’ opinions of different groups.  “Media is a form of education, so it’s all about social responsibility.”

 

T Billi Martin and Rose Ann GreenRose Ann Green and T Billi Martin display the educational aspects of media through their show, The Caribbean Voice.  Green and Martin created the show to display the true and full scope of what it means to be Caribbean.  “It’s not all beef patties and Soca,” Martin said.  The ladies were inspired to create The Caribbean Voice due to the one-sided representation of Caribbean culture.  They noticed that Caribbean life was only depicted through the Labor Day parade or a recipe.

One viewing of the program definitely reveals that Caribbean culture is much more than festivals and food.  Martin invited the viewers into her dance class at the Mark Morris Dance Group with Trinidadian fitness instructor Candance Thompson.  Green hosted a thrilling feature on reasons to visit Jamaica.  The hosts’ overall desire is for everyone to embrace sharing their culture with others.  Judging from the program’s natural and inviting feel, that wish has a high probability of fulfillment.

 

Karina and ChristinaThe final film of the evening, Her Journey, embodies the essence of survival and perseverance through the stories of four women who lived during World War II.  A particularly moving part of the film is Maria Vinetskaya’s description of living conditions during the war.  “We were hungry and cold.  We had to ration food.  We had a cup of tea in the morning, and we saved sugar in paper bags.  We ate stale food at lunch,” she said.

Family bonding was also a partial impetus for the film’s creation.  Her Journey is the story of Karina’s grandmother.  Harvard students Karina and Christina were jointly inspired to make the film because of the women’s heroism in the midst of struggle.  “In the Soviet Union, males were defined as heroes, but caregivers were not.  We wanted to redefine the meaning of hero,” Christina explained.

What Christina, Karina, and all the filmmakers did was give a voice to the power that is realized through the diversity of storytelling.  “Extraordinary circumstances give you extraordinary strength,” Karina said at the event’s conclusion in relation to BRIC’s role as an agent of change through media.

Yes, indeed.

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