STORIES

"We're Gonna Build a Nation..."

A week out in the woods,  produced a couple blisters and dozens of ant bites as expected, but what also has come with this experience is a renewed sense of purpose and understanding of what I contribute and how I can be valuable to building the nation we've envisioned for so long. Outside of just being a documentarian and artist, I've received a steady stream of encouragement or severe nudging in the direction of mentorship and teaching. People believe I have something valuable to children inside this body and while I don't doubt it, for some reason it's still weird to me. I've always envisioned those people to be so old, but I guess I have to accept that to a 15 year old, I'm old! Even in saying that a couple of my campers were even unsure of how to classify me on the adult spectrum; basically I'm way too old to be treated as a child, but I'm just not a for real grown up, even if I am the same age as some of their parents. All this is to say, a big part of what I contribute through my work will revolve around communicating to and building up the youth. Whether you're a parent or an advertiser, hundreds of hours are spent racking your brain trying to figure out how to reach children and it's apparently something I do by just showing up.

Enough about my epiphany, these photos are of the people I spent my week with, about 70 black faces from different backgrounds and places all brought together for a week to do black things. I would've loved to spend more time with all these personalities and gotten to know them more, but one thing I realized is our experiences in these settings dont have to be and shouldn't be limited to small pockets. We can have and contribute to these parts of our lives daily, if we're really about that life. I'm really looking forward to sharing the photos I've shot, the moments I filmed and the overall experience I had at Camp Pumziko. Tonight I'm going to start looking through all this footage and trying to organize the story I had in my mind to shoot and see what happens. Stay tuned.