Cheryl Dunye’s film The Watermelon Woman (1996) is about a young filmmaker who attempts to make a documentary about an unnamed black woman that appears in 1930s films.
This event focuses on the experience of black, trans, and queer people, asking us to reflect on how we create personal and public records of underrepresented peoples. The contemporary practices of searching, researching, and creating an identity have taken on a life of its own through Internet-based platforms and applications. What would the protagonist, Cheryl, find if she used hashtags and Google analytics to trace the history of the “Watermelon Woman?”
Workshop participants will have an opportunity to work with the Watermelon Woman 3.0 curatorial team on how to enliven objects and ephemera that the participants deem valuable, sentimental, or historical in nature. Participants will have a chance to engage with archival material from the film’s original development, as well as new objects brought to and made at this workshop, in order to consider how histories—both real and imagined—come to be documented and preserved. The workshop will enable quick creative responses based on the work of Cheryl Dunye. Participants will be encouraged to use different forms of social media and photographic platforms to produce their own creative works.
Who: Cheryl Dunye and WMW 3.0 Curatorial Team
What: #watermelonwoman: Making Our Histories – A queer/black archiving and activism workshop
Where: Grove House, Pitzer College
When: Friday, March 4, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
By RSVP only, lunch will be served
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