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Seen: A Journal of Film & Visual Culture
Through the years of producing the festival, we have learned from our audiences that in order to shift the practices in the field, focusing on who is in front of and behind the camera is not enough. One element of the film world that is rarely addressed in conversations about race and representation is the lack of published critical writing on film by BIPOC folks. As part of our strategy to expand the engagement of Black and other people of color at every level of the field, in 2017 we published our first catalog separate from the festival program guide, which featured essays, film reviews and interviews by artists, scholars, curators, and critics expanding upon the films and themes of the festival. Past contributors to the BlackStar catalog include Haile Gerima, Louis Massiah, Adepero Oduye, Rhea Combs, Greg Tate, Dena Takruri, John L. Jackson, Jr., Terence Nance, Niela Orr, and more.
To provide this opportunity for critical writing, BlackStar is now producing a semi-annual journal, titled Seen. The number of culturally competent journalists and cultural critics has rapidly declined over the last few years, raising concerns for many about the space for public discourse and challenges to dominant cultural narratives in popular media, particularly in an era of revisionist history about America’s “greatness.” Amongst the culture writing that is regularly shared, very little is written by people of color or with the analysis of a racial justice lens. A regularly published journal extends the critical discourse of BlackStar beyond the festival and into a wider audience that includes makers, academics, funders, critics, and other stakeholders in the field.
Featuring: Amy Sherald, Bing Liu, Blitz Bazawule, Darol Kae, Derica Cole Washington, Dessane Lopez Cassell, Donte Neal, Elizabeth Méndez Berry, Emir Lewis, Eric Branco, Erin Christovale, Heidi Saman, Heitor Augusto, Imran Siddiquee, Jason Pollard, Jemma Desai, Jheanelle Brown, Jon-Sesrie Goff, Juliana Reyes, Loira Limbal, Lulu Wang, Makeba Rainey, Maori Karmael Holmes, Michelle Ortiz, Nam Lee, Nehad Khader, Niela Orr, Racquel Gates, Radha Blank, Roni Nicole Henderson, Sham-e-Ali Nayeem, Sonya Childress, Susy Zepeda, Suzanne Kite, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Terence Nance, Zeshawn Ali
Cover image of Radha Blank. Illustrated by Makeba Rainey based on a photo by Caydie McCumber, courtesy of Sundance Institute. Design by Jelsen Innocent.
Maori Karmael Holmes, Editor-in-Chief
Nehad Khader, Managing Editor & Essays Section Editor
Imran Siddiquee, Reviews Section Editor
Kavita Rajanna, Interviews Section Editor
Shauna Swartz, Copyeditor
Jelsen Lee Innocent, Designer
Seen (ISSN 2694-524X)
Issue 001. Fall 2020.
188 pages. Printed by The Standard Group.