Thursday, 15 October 2009

ImgagineNative Film & Arts Festival: What's in a Face?

Ran into director, Neil Diamond (left) at the Al Green Theatre today. We had a great conversation, not about his documentary, Reel Injun, but about glasses and contacts. While speaking with him a young Sami woman approached us. She was absolutely gorgeous, with a face that you could look at for ages.

Most black people look at other black people and try to guess what they are mixed with. We can see the Chinese, East Indian, White in every black person. We look at hair, skin colour, noses, lips for any indication as to a black person's heritage. Being a black person at ImagineNative is a feast for me, as I look at all the different facial features in the crowd. The one thing I don't dwell on is who is Native and who is not. Been there, done that in my own culture where some black people are thought of as not being "black enough" because they are too light/white.

I feel as comfortable at ImagineNative as I do at any other film festival. No one looks at me and wonders why I'm there. For one thing, I could be Native. (I'm not. Just an average Jamaican with the usual African, Scottish, Irish mix.) I've done papers on Black Crees, so I could bluff my way if I wanted to be a poser, but there's no call for that, so don't hold back from attending because you are a non-Native, add your face to the crowd. Go and enjoy the diversity of indigenous art on screen, on exhibit, and in the clubs.

ImagineNative Film & Media Arts Festival runs until October 18th
www.imaginenative.org

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