The Skeleton Coast in Namibia is a stretch of desert beside the ocean glittering with diamonds. European conquerors swayed by the sight would steer their vessels toward the siren-call of wealth only to be wrecked against the treacherous rocks...
As a filmmaker, videographer, and educator, this image is a compelling metaphor for the depth of human experience: the ugly reality of colonization and the beauty of the diamonds and the land. As the daughter of an Ethiopian mother and Namibian father born in apartheid Southern Africa, this contrast informs the stories I tell.
My videography and filmmaking explore the stories at the intersection of gender, race, sexuality, and immigration status because I want youth from marginalized backgrounds to see their stories and reach for the possibilities. As an activist and educator, I work to make sure those possibilities are there for them.
This is why I tell stories. I approach every project with honesty and nuance to ensure clients have their story told by them and for them with dignity. When telling stories, it is necessary to understand the nuances that exist when talking about the complexities of the human condition. There can be joy and liberation in telling stories of pain and strife. Stories are transformative: they can be the seeds for revolution and they can also provide the warmth to continue onward.
I come from a lineage of storytellers and my ancestors have been doing this work since time immemorial, telling stories around the fire, so future generations can not only survive, but flourish.