A dear friend, writer, and Oregon black scholar, Walidah Imarisha, has had her work lifted without her consent and used to crowdsource and fund a documentary called Whitelandia. Whitelandia is supposed to be a movie about Oregon’s exceptionally racist history. Unfortunately the white film makers have built their entire work off the backs of black scholars and generations worth of black historians but have done little of their own research.
Walidah had this to say about Tracy MacDonald and Matt Zudrow, but I’m just going to quote a snippet:
And more than just using a clip of my program without permission, the producers stated several times, in our one face-to-face meeting as well as in various emails, that my timeline, my research and my analytical framework I put forward in my public scholarship form the spine of their film. Again, without my input or even knowledge. This situation, where my work as a Black female scholar has been used by two white filmmakers without conversation, credit, compensation or control reeks of intellectual colonialism.
My other concern is that this film raised a significant amount of money on a kickstarter using the faces, voices and stories of people who were not asked, and did not agree to it. I did not agree to be part of this project, and certainly not a part of a kickstarter campaign. It seems the majority of their money came from small donations, funded by everyday people who believe this is a vital topic that needs to be explored and shown on a larger level. People who thought they were funding a film rooted in and deeply connected to communities of color in Oregon, which unfortunately is not the case.
And here are the producer’s public contact info (I did not dig for this, this was openly available). Please write them and let them know that what they’re doing is hurtful to Oregon’s community of color, and that we are deeply saddened to see them profit off black bodies while simultaneously not allowing them credit or profit from the work they create. Although their intentions may be good, this does not absolve them from their profoundly racist behavior. Please write to:
Tracy MacDonald (tmacdonald@uncolaﬁlms.com) (503-490-4054)
Matt Zudrow (mzodrow@uncolaﬁlms.com) (503-890-8132)
I am begging you to please keep signal boosting -
The producers have refused to backdown, are not returning money to donators, and are blocking women of color left and right on their facebook page if we dare to disagree with them.
They don’t care they stole this, they don’t care that it’s based off a black woman’s work, they simply don’t care.
When asked what we should do they said if we don’t like it we can simply go on and make our own movies, as if their profoundly racist movie in and of itself is not harmful to our community of color in Oregon.
I ask them simply to back down and put this project in the hands of more sensitive parties. There is no reason to have Oregon history butchered at the hands of bigots.
Guys, don’t get your hopes too high on the next episode of Free! Eternal Summer and DRAMatical Murder
In Japan people are being evacuated right this minute because a serious typhoon is hitting called Neoguri. This is really serious. Thousands of people could lose their lives. Please hope and if you’re religious, pray that nobody dies. And if the anime gets cancelled, don’t be upset. Think about the people in Japan right now.
I’m watching the news, and I’ll keep you updated.
its weird that mostly all vegetarians and vegans only wanna fight for animals but not the underpaid/overworked people that pick their $15 organic grapes from Whole Foods in the sweltering sun for 15 hours at a time