As I delve into the world of independent cinema, I am continually inspired by video artists who have the ability to create something that is both watchable that also deeply emotional. I strive to learn as much as I can about how to break free of the rules of editing I’ve learned in Hollywood when the story calls for it.
“In Jafa’s 2016 video, Love Is the Message, The Message Is Death, music did the emotional heavy lifting, with a rapid-fire barrage of images of black life carried by Kanye West’s gospel-laced vocals in “Ultralight Beam.” But the overwhelmingly affirmative responses to the piece forced Jafa to reassess its timing, messaging, and emotional impact in this new work: The White Album sets out to confront the crutches white viewers rely on when in search of absolution.
The inability to retreat into the safe place of detachment is what sets The White Album apart from Love is the Message. And its timing couldn’t be more relevant as weekly reminders show us that our unwillingness to address racism continues to perpetuate it.
As I sat through the video, only a handful of people remained through the entire 40 minutes. Being confronted with a mirror was perhaps too uncomfortable for some to endure.”