When I walked into the media center, I did not know how effected I would be by Katie's presentation. I was ready to sit down, relax and watch a really good film. Then I would write my extra credit and be done with it. I was in for much more. Katie did an amazing job with her senior project. From the moment I entered the room, I could feel how personal and precious this was to her. She opened with a poem about positionality and how we can and should use our voice through different modes of presentation. She read it with passion and you could tell that it was an inspirational factor of her project. The film was not an ordinary film with series of scenes and music following the action. She referred to her presentation as a cross between a radio show, still frames and musical components.
The presentation opened with music and sounds of Katie interacting with a young child along with images of her house, family photos, the streets of the city she grew up in: Home, otherwise known as Watertown. Frequently, the screen would go black and it would just be Katie speaking. She talked about home as the place she always went back to. She referred to it as, "The specific place, location which has formed and informed me today." and she would attempt to explain her positionality to us the audience with, "Collisions of moments of my life." She started telling stories that had ages and details. There was one point where her own voice overlapped with another stream of her voice telling these stories. She used a gradual and loud crescendo during this sequence that ended abruptly and transitioned into the story of her grandpa's death.
She reflected on her grandpa's life. She spoke about the turkey plant that he worked at where he hired south africans to work for him. There was outrage in the town. While listening to a radio show that had enraged callers on the air, there was a particular moment that marked Katie's observation of race and class. A caller said, "You know that south africans are white." The calls stopped. This marked a pivotal point in Katie's young life.
Another pivotal point was the issue of tradition at her high school. Instead of homecoming, they had a day called Ki Yi Day which was established to honor the Native American Tribes that had lived on the land of Watertown before the pioneers came and took it away. She talked about her understanding today of her desire and the desire of many of her classmates of the "other." She stated in the presentation, "How is it that we as white people can represent and find pride when we are the ones that conquered them..."
Throughout the presentation there were many more examples like the ones I chose to write about. She did a remarkable job projecting to an audience, her search for answers, search for her positionality and search for what home really means to her. I was inspired by this presentation beyond what I thought was possible in a 20 minute production. She ended with a return home and this quote, "My race and class were left unmarked...all this was done in the name of love." She returns home to the sounds of the young child and the business of everyday life.
I am so glad I attended this presentation. I am inspired to take my time to search close to me in order to find answers and my positionality in order to enhance my senior project.