A screening and conversation with Imani Kai Johnson, taisha paggett and Jaye Austin Williams
Facilitated by Erin Christovale
Free and open to the public
Shot in the East New York section of Brooklyn around the time of Hurricane Sandy, Ditch Plains (2013, HDV, 29 mins) is a dystopian sci-fi street dance film by Loretta Fahrenholz, featuring members of Ringmasters Crew. Like avatars running the levels of an apocalyptic video game, Ringmasters Corey, Jay Donn and Marty McFly hallucinate the city and its networks as a space of terror, mutation and magic. “Flexing,” “bone breaking,” “pauzing” and “connecting” in nighttime streets, hotel hallways and a posh Park Avenue apartment, the dancers improvise dream-like scenes suggesting digital death-matches, stop-and-frisk situations and catastrophic man-machine interfaces. Meanwhile, documentary shots of Far Rockaway show the city’s attempt to manage disaster in real life.
Following the film we will engage in a conversation with scholars Imani Kai Johnson and Jaye Austin Williams and artist taisha paggett around narratives of Black resistance, the intention of Black bodies on screen, socioeconomic privilege in the height of the apocalypse, stop and frisk, and the history of flexing/bone breaking dance style that originated out of Brooklyn.