Performance and Video Production feat. Together in a Joint

The Diasporic Peoples Writing Collective (DPWC) premiered a film for San Jose State University’s virtual “Legacy of Poetry” festival on April 17, 2021. The festival was themed Closing the Distance: Sheltering in Technolog(ies), and in it were some of our very own DPWC member-poets featured beside veterans like Daniel B. Summerhill, Tureeda Mikell, Vernon Keeve III, MK Chavez, and Keenan Norris.

It was a joint production, meaning many of the performances in it were created remotely, both digitally and geographically, and then tied together by a student run pre- and post-production team. The film featured student poets: Ume Ali, Mario John Chris, Ben Soriano, Felipe De La Rosa, and Julinda LeDee. Karen Bankhead was narrator. And Chase Ali-Watkins was the project’s producer, videographer, and editor. Sandy Navarro assisted with the videography, and Carmen Kennedy was executive producer.

Almost everyone featured in the production was filmed in Oakland or at San José State University, with the exception of MK Chavez who filmed her performance in Portland, and Karen Bankhead who filmed in L.A. Two of the students in this production, Felipe De La Rosa and Sandy Navarro filmed in L.A. too. This was a workflow model the DPWC saw as solution to staging a literary performance and simultaneously adhering to safe distancing protocols. Where poetry and great performances headlined this project, technology proved joint artistic interpretations, like this, defy boundaries.

This video is on DPWC’s YouTube channel, its Instagram and Twitter: @DPWC2020, and its LinkedIn page: So, subscribe and follow us, and “Like” us too.

Film credit for Daniel B. Summerhill’s poem, “Ain’t We,” directed and filmed by James Mosely of Melemedia WWW.MELEMEDIA.COM with a remix by Chase Ali-Watkins. And “Ode to Elijah,” produced by Quianna Summerhill and filmed and edited by Tommy Nguyen with a remix by Chase Ali-Watkins.

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