2022 Loisaida Artistic Residency Recipient
As part of the 2022 Loisaida Artistic Residency Program; photographer and filmmaker Ebony Cawthorne’s documentary titled Tied Together takes an candid look at five New York City young adults as they unpack the attraction of sneaker culture in their lives, communities as they reflect on the urgency of foundational financial literacy in their lives, and how collecting sneakers has been key to understanding financial responsibility.
The short documentary was awarded a Special Jury Prize at the 2022 Toronto Black Film Festival. Ebony is now working on a podcast series that will dive deeper into the making of the film and what comes next for each of the interviewees.
When it comes to my artistic endeavors and journey, one of the themes that I focus on is the ability to control your narrative. As an artist I want to stay attuned to not merely the ideals but the actualization of the liberation of self and personal identity for people of color. I’m a writer, filmmaker and teaching artist.
As the media and storytelling teaching artist for the local sister org Dorill Initiative we explored different compositional techniques for photography and filmmaking. The youth interest grew in how to utilize those techniques in their own projects and what elements are used to craft a compelling story. A few selected children from the program will be participants in this documentary project. One of the main takeaways I wanted the youth to have was that they are able to control their own narrative and the narrative that surrounds their identity. Identity is a special protected source where we get to think about who we are, how we see ourselves and who we want to become. We explored that meaningful concept and the various ways to tap into that source in relation to our art. This project allows me the opportunity to dig deeper into those relationships with the youth participants and also allows them that same opportunity with their chosen family and who they decide to interview for the project. This work will emphasis the immense value of the artistry of people of color.
Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., Ebony Sojourner has always had a love and a passion for storytelling and films. She is an independent director, writer and producer. Ebony Sojourner is the Founder of Disrupt Media. Disrupt is an artistic space dedicated to providing young people of color the opportunity and resources necessary to engage in storytelling as a practice of healing but also to bring attention to critical needs among artists of color in society. Art has the power to heal and Ebony feels honored to have Disrupt Media to be an outlet and provide a space for healing to our black and brown communities.
The Loisaida Artistic Residency Program is made possible in part with funding by the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Development Fund in partnership with the New York City Council.