Today’s sociopolitical climate is rife with any and all manners of injustice — from military occupation to forced relocation to economic inequality to police brutality. With that injustice comes artists eager to give voice to the voiceless, choosing to use their work as a mouthpiece for a cause that lies close to their hearts and conscience.
One such artist is Shola Amoo and his mouthpiece is A Moving Image. A unique combination of fiction and documentary, A Moving Image hopes to shine a light on that dirty G-word commonly referred to as gentrification. Specifically, A Moving Image is the story of gentrification in the South London communities of Brixton, Peckham and Elephant & Castle. Amoo and his team hope to delve deep into what it means to truly be a victim of gentrification and what it means to be apart of the gentrifying force. And can a person be both?
The tale begins with our leading lady Nina, a struggling artist and actress who called Brixton home years ago, but has now come back to a community she hardly recognizes. While she hopes to embrace all the familiarity that is left, she’s unsure of her place in this “new” Brixton. All she knows is she wants to believe she’s not apart of the problem.
Although the film is not yet finished, I think Amoo’s choice to have his star be an artist is a sharp commentary on the role of art in the urban phenomenon of gentrification.
What was that I just said? Oh yeah. The film is unfinished. In past Indie Artist Showcases, I’ve shared with you the odd and beautiful creations of artists who deserve praise as well as support. Amoo’s A Moving Image is no different. Although not an ongoing comic book series or digital cartoonist, Amoo’s film employs that ever present need so many creative professionals seek: funding.
That’s why his team has launched an IndieGogo campaign to raise the money to finish his project. And I have to admit, the perks are pretty nice. If you can’t make your way to London to be an extra in the film, maybe you’ll enjoy a Skype discussion with the director and producer or a Thank You credit at the end of the film.
Now let’s be clear, I’ll never accuse you of being a disappointment to all artists everywhere because you didn’t give $7 and some change to help finish Amoo’s project. I know supporting the arts is a fickle endeavor especially when it’s a work in progress. However, after watching the trailer for A Moving Image and following the film’s Twitter and Tumblr feeds for the last few months, I feel as if the filmmaker is dedicated to representing gentrification as the complex issue that it is. And heaven knows, I love when art meets complexity!
So that’s why I’m lending my support (financially and linguistically). With the recent affordable housing protests that have lit up the news in the past few months — as well as some from a few years ago (post-Katrina New Orleans comes to mind), I think the gentrification issue plays close to the heart of many artists as well as the working poor everywhere.
Amoo’s film could play a part in the rising tide of criticism about this extreme global shift that has forced many from their childhood homes and transformed communities into shadows of their former selves. Years from now, will a new generation make the same critiques as they see the cycle start all over again? Or will some communities succeed in maintaining a foothold in spaces that remind them that a home is more than an address on a mailbox.
Filmmakers are a special breed of artists. They rely on the talent of other artists to help create their own personal vision. And I’m eager to see what Amoo’s vision will bring. Something tells me it’s going to be exceptional.