Guest post by Kleverson Peruzzo, Inspirit delegate to the 2017 Story Money Impact conference
Many of us come from ancestral lines devastated by histories of colonial violence. Many of us are left picking up the pieces of our identities, land-based knowledges, cultural teachings and our own stories. However, colonial violence is not our only story.
Let us tell you our stories. Stories of resistance, of love beyond borders, of ancestral teachings, of dignity, laughter and adventure.
For me, my work as a filmmaker, photographer and media-maker is a responsibility. I understand my work as an Art of Connection: that which binds together both ancestral belonging to our own self-proclaimed futurisms; and through these stories, we not only remember, but we are re-made. When I learned of the Story Money Impact Program, I believed that the support and guidance offered by the team and community would support my own vision, values and projects as a media maker. I felt honoured to tell my story—and even more privileged and grateful to have been accepted for who I am and how I involve myself in this work.
For me, my work is a constant interaction and relationship between place, people, self, others, land and spirit. We are all positioned in an expansive constellation of relationships, and I believe the responsibility of my work is to invoke shared reflections, consciousness and accountability to one another.
While it is my intention that my work comes from, belongs to and returns to the communities I work with, as an independent filmmaker, my work can often lead to an isolated lifestyle. Further, as a filmmaker of colour, access to resources, financial stability and creative communities can be hard to come by. I want to attend Story Money Impact to feed my internal fire and purpose in this work; and to surpass barriers in my life and enter into a community of outstanding filmmakers and visionaries. I believe it takes one opportunity like this to change lives, and I am so grateful for this chance to participate in such an incredible experience.
I do not see my political consciousness or activism as divorced from my own commitments to media-making. It was my hope, when I entered into the program, that I would be able to sharpen my skills so that I may be a more effective tool for the communities I serve. I believe that the world is born from stories. Stories are what shape identity and the possibilities of where we could go as a species. I often feel that a huge barrier to these possibilities being realized is the feeling of isolation and creative-blocks. The most significant teaching I learned in my time at Story Money Impact was that we are not independent film-makers; rather, we are interdependent in our work and visions.
My own media-making experience takes root in the examination of relationship and spiritual connection between person and land—however, these relationships do not need to be isolated from the work and influences of other media-makers. Collaboration is what strengthens our work and impact.
Opportunities like this allow for folks and visionaries like myself to access resources, skills and relationships in the face of our every-day barriers. Stories create the world around us, and for many of us, we as a people come from stories. I feel honoured to carry the responsibility of a storyteller and am deeply passionate about carrying this work with grace, precision and immense love. I hope in this small way, my story touches yours and we can start this walk together.