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(Re)Housing the American Dream 216-2018, excerpts

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Re)Housing the American Dream is a cumulative performative documentary project (2015-ongoing) that explores the role of film as political action. This experimental multi-year documentary project follows a group of American and refugee youths, growing up in the time of Trump, through the collective making of performative video and text based work exploring the construct of the American Dream. The production period is structured as an annual summer camp in which the works are developed through collaborative processes with the participants. The produced work reflects on current socio-political issues, their lived experiences, individual perspectives and their collective imagination. The annual works cumulatively inform each other and tell the story of a resilient, diverse, opinioned group of youngsters living in divisive times.

3-channel video installation
(Re)housing the American Dream, 2016
Duration 13:22 min

During a 14-day video shoot personal histories and experiences from the participating middle school students served as metaphors to explore the real and imagined reality of the American Dream. The video raises questions about the notions of home, belonging and happiness in context of the American Dream. Delving into the complex notions of place, person, community, family, country, origin, land, or a moment of time as a site of identification, with being a person. The video ponders the enduring question of what it means to be human and how this has become inextricably from the question who we are to each other? How is the American Dream both an individual and collective dream? These young residents of Milwaukee imagined and (re)envisioned the American Dream and what is most required to allow this dream unfold.

(Re)Housing the American Dream: A Message from the Future, 2017
Duration 13:42 min

The participating youth imagined a future America, 50 years from now. Marked by today’s reality this wasn’t always an easy feat. The students gave shape to their very real desires and fears in what felt like a rather uncertain and abstract future. They wrote a manifesto, composed a new language, planted flags devised from silver emergency blankets in the neighborhood, took over the streets moving as one collective body and created a large-scale ‘monument of the future’ in public space. Collectively they imagined how we could move forward as a nation comprised of a multitude of histories and identities, like the group itself.

3-channel video installation
(Re)Housing the American Dream: Freedom Principles, 2018
Duration 15:16 min

(Re)Housing the American Dream is an ongoing community-based performative documentary project that explores the role of film as political action. (Re)Housing the American Dream: Freedom Principles explores the historical, cultural and personal notions of freedom through performative actions that have been developed collectively during a one-week intensive film production. The group spent a significant amount of their time exploring the roots to various freedom struggles in Milwaukee, specifically looking to the speech and actions of the youth chapter of the NAACP, who were instrumental in leading a number of civil rights protests in the city in the 1960s. Together, the artist and participants moved throughout the city, visiting the different historical sites where important civil rights actions took place. Marking, building, commemorating, (re)claiming, imagining, occupying, embodying, framing, performing, transmitting many facetted ways freedom can take form.

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