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Pressing on with a case for optimism: Kelly Daniela Norris and TW Pittman

February 7, 2018

• Kelly Daniela Norris and TW Pittman

 

1. Express your thoughts about 2017 in an image, GIF, or noise.

 

(From Ozu's Good Morning)

 

 

 

 

2. What did you take for granted in 2016 that you’re extremely grateful for in 2018?

 

 

The power of private revolutions. Frustrated with the values our society rewards? First, live by your own.

 

 

 

 

3. What piece of art — film, book, album, performance, painting, whatevs — restores your faith in humanity?

 

 

Walter Benjamin's essay Theses on the Philosophy of History (1940). Specifically, Thesis IX, and, by extension, Benjamin's reading of Paul Klee's Angelus Novus (The Angel of History). Why? It's fucking beautiful. And because the essay serves as a haunting and humbling reminder that our times are never the only times when humans have been challenged. (Benjamin wrote this while fleeing from the Nazis, prior to committing suicide.) Each generation has the tendency to overestimate its own historical moment, and, with the inability to see from an aerial, expansive, multi-directional view of all that has transpired, we read an unknown and precarious future apocalyptically. That is in no way to underestimate the need to take our own historical moment seriously, but rather to give a much larger historical context to this very human project to which we all belong.

 

(Walter Benjamin, at work in the library)

 

 

 

 

4. What happened in 2017 that actually made the world a better place?

 

Collective action on the streets, at universities, in airports. The energy was, and continues to be, palpable and constructive. I mean, come on, humans are, by nature, a social and communitarian species. It feels good to unite over shared values.

And, of course, the personal​ is political. After hitching out to a homestead in the country, TW and her handsome wife Elana are expecting their first child in a month. Queer/trans/brown women doing it for themselves, y'all!

 

 

 

 

5. What are you determined to do—or make or change—in 2018?

 

We're pressing​ on. Our voices as filmmakers warp and bend with each experience, personal or collective. We hope our work will forever reveal and illustrate these inner shifts.

 

 

We're pressing on, too. Join us in 100 Days of Optimism by building an audience, raising funds and being eligible for career-changing prizes.

 

Share your voice like these creators using our easy (and fun!) Case for Optimism Generator!

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optimism

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Kelly Daniela Norris and TW Pittman

Kelly Daniela Norris and TW Pittman founded the feminist production collective Rasquaché Films in 2009. Their guerrilla features Sombras de Azul (2013) and Nakom (2016) tackle grief and westernization in Cuba and Ghana, respectively.

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