Students in Evelyn Serrano's Arts and Community Engagement class are working on a project that addresses their research, concerns, personal experiences, and future-thinking on the topic of gun violence.
"The morning after the Parkland shooting, we came into class and talked together for an hour about the event. We had already spent weeks developing our projects, and then, someone suggested, 'Do you guys want to work on reducing gun violence?', and we all unanimously agreed to throw our week-long work out the window and start as a whole class on this new idea," says Bri Patillo (MFA Theater '19).
The class project will take the form of a movement-building campaign that utilizes online platforms and storytelling to create a series of short video "letters" to individuals, organizations, and institutions directly engaged with the issue.
Inobe Thomas (MFA Music '20) says, "We shot three collective videos, in which students here at CalArts who were affected in some capacity by gun violence such as acts perpetrated against a family member, a loved one, or a friend. Also, a call to action, for which we have put links on our website www.SilenceSupportsViolence.com, so you can reach out to your local congressional representative, your local senator; and, there are steps for leaving messages that are recorded and logged. These are steps we can take toward having the federal laws and state laws reviewed and adjusted --pushing for real gun measures to be changed."
In addition to compelling messages, these video pieces will propose a clear and accessible structure that aims to challenge our fellow citizens to contribute their own stories to the campaign.
"We are going live on Friday at 10:00 pm; that’s really important, and we are hoping to get responses from people and starting the dialogue. It’s not about judgment, it’s really about inspiring people to share and raise their voices," says Joana Knezevic (MFA Theater '18).
The project goal is to create a platform for the sharing of stories that illustrate the multiple ways in which gun violence shapes our daily lives in the U.S.
It challenges us to creatively envision and collaboratively build a more just, inclusive, and safe future for all.
Silence Support Violence Website Launch