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Interrogating “Diversity” Through Collaborative Film in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Berlin - Contesting White Supremacy

Published onMar 17, 2022
Interrogating “Diversity” Through Collaborative Film in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Berlin - Contesting White Supremacy

This short film investigates the extent to which diversity narratives, policies, and practices enable the persistence of White supremacy in US and European institutions. It uses collaborative filmmaking both as a mode of investigation and a means for imagining political possibility. 

It is based on a project I began at the University of Michigan (USA) in the winter of 2019 in which I asked students to make short (10 minute) films about the future of the University and their surrounding communities from the perspective of "diversity." What did "diversity" mean in practice? How should it be interrogated, and how was it affecting their experience of the university and/or their lives prior to entering it? 

In whose interest was "diversity" being advocated? What might Black, Indigenous, and Students of Color gain from the term and institutional implementation of "diversity"? What might they lose? To what extent is "diversity" able to address issues of systemic racism or feelings of isolation?  What can collective filmmaking do to address these questions? 

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