Offering cool programs that are fun and exciting is one thing, but offering cool programs that are meaningful, welcoming, and valuable to people of marginalized identities is what we’re about. We also want to raise consciousness in our community – what is race, gender, class, and sexuality, and why is it important to talk about these things, as uncomfortable as they may be at times? We seek to foster a community in which no one will call you racist if you want to talk about race, a community that you can come to after a micro-aggressive incident, a community that you know will listen to you, give you books to read, and will push you to be more and more critical in your thinking on society and how it is structured.
We are a community that will never call anyone “crazy,” or “too sensitive,” or just “not well-adjusted.” We know that even though it’s the year 2014, even though Barack Obama is the president, even though more groups are starting to talk about “diversity,” even though same-gender marriage is legalized in some states… despite all this, we know that privilege and oppression continue to be tremendously important factors in people’s lives and we are dedicated to fostering space for dialogue, healing, art, movement-building, and consciousness-raising around identity.
Video Dialogue Project
The Video Dialogue Project seeks to create short films that both record and foster critical dialogues on the experiences of people from historically marginalized identity groups.
Rather than having an anonymous interviewer behind the camera projecting a gaze onto subjects, VDP sets up the camera and then allows our “subjects” to guide the conversation, engaging each other and being the authors of their own narratives. What would happen if we stopped asking the questions, and just encouraged people speak? VDP serves as a microphone for groups of people- no one ever faces a camera alone, rather, they engage naturally with each other while recording their conversation for future viewers.
The pilot project is about Black women of Vassar College – students, professors, staff, alums – and is expected to be released in February 2015.
The Video Dialogue Project was founded with support from the President’s Discretionary Fund and the Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College.
To learn more about the Video Dialogue Project, visit videodialogueproject.org.