This film was unplanned as no one really could've predicted a year like 2014 and how that would unfold for black people. "United" was our response to something that had been culminating in society for years. As two artists raised with a sense of social responsibility and awareness, we wanted to use our voice and platform to reach out to others the best way we knew how.
Since the release of this film, art as activism has continued to be a theme we personally explore in all of our work. In the Summer of 2017, director Artemus Jenkins taught a 6 week, hands on documentary filmmaking class at Georgia State University, making it the first and only hands on class at the institution. The class called "Documentary Filmmaking and Black Lives" had a curriculum focused on empowering students with the ability to document and share their own narrative and the authentic voice of those they speak for.
Directed, photographed and edited by Artemus Jenkins
A documentary short covering how the Atlanta Community has responded to the brutal murder of Mike Brown.
Upon learning that elements of this murder were not getting covered properly, it dawned on us to ensure our story was properly documented. As this piece was being put together and the news footage was being compiled, ironically not only was video footage from Ferguson hard to come by, but I didn't find much online from other cities either. In fact the search engines don't readily turn up many results outside of Missouri. It's not to say footage doesn't exist, but to say that if we are actively searching and it's hard to find, it's unlikely that someone who is less aware of the events would find anything.
There needs to be as much VIDEO footage out there as possible for all cities doing anything around these events. Moving images controlled by the people as opposed to mass media provide a broader opportunity to draw real conclusions. I encourage every and anyone who is able to film and upload what is happening in your city. Everyone, specifically the residents of Ferguson need to see the support we all have for them and a large amount of that support is not letting the momentum subside as the news cycle moves on to another story.
Out of sight, out of mind is the age old saying, so remain vigilant and visible as we continue fighting to attain justice for all who have become victims of police brutality and murder.