2 movies

The 1920s saw a revolution in technology, the advent of the recording industry, that created the first class of African-American women to sing their way to fame and fortune. Blues divas such as Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Alberta Hunter created and promoted a working-class vision of blues life that provided an alternative to the Victorian gentility of middle-class manners. In their lives and music, blues women presented themselves as strong, independent women who lived hard lives and were unapologetic about their unconventional choices in clothes, recreational activities, and bed partners. Blues singers disseminated a Black feminism that celebrated emotional resilience and sexual pleasure, no matter the source.

“I don’t want to feel like it’s only me. I know it’s not only me, because there are others out there…” ‘I Don’t Protest, I Just Dance In My Shadow’ is a short visual essay film by artist animator, Jessica Ashman, about navigating the visual art and animation world as a black face in a white space. Using animation and recorded interviews of eight other women of colour artists, ‘I Don’t Protest, I Just Dance In My Shadow’ is an abstract confessional from the director herself: a visualisation of the joy, frustration, wishes and dreams of what it feels like to be a black women and a woman of colour artist, creating and existing.

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