Zoo (Volkerschau) Trailer – The Stare

Once upon a time, a girl asked me to show her my extra bone at a basketball camp in Philadelphia.
Once upon a time, as the only black girl on the track team, my teammates wondered why didn’t I wash my hair everyday? They of course, wanted to feel it.
Once upon a time, a car full of boys threw a drink at my Cuban boyfriend and me in Maryland and yelled racist epithets.
Once upon a time, during my first week in college at Rhode Island, I attended a fraternity party and was asked where my watermelon was, and when was I going back to Africa?
Once upon a time, as a Senior Trainer at an IT company, men walked out of a mandatory training class and call me a Yankee in SeaTac and Atlanta.

It is all of these times, and more, that led me to write, produce and direct a film on the last known human zoo in Brussels, Belgium at the World’s Fair in 1958. When I share the subject matter with others, they usually nod their heads and then ask, “What did you say?”

I repeat. “Human Zoos. In 1958.” It sinks in. I continue. “Yes. Human curiosities. Africans. And ironically, the first World’s Fair since the cold war, the theme was A World View: a New Humanism.” Yet “Volkerschau,” or human zoo, loosely translated to “human look show” and was widely advertised.

I hope you will be able to join the conversation during the Your Personal Life: Impacting Others session at the NAWRB Conference, Monday, July 17.

We will discuss Diversity. Inclusion. Belonging. What it truly means. How all of us, as women, as people of color, are held prisoner of perception by ourselves, by others, and create our own virtual zoos, hiding behind the bars of misunderstanding. Every incident I’ve experienced regarding race and gender, if possible, I used it as an opportunity to educate and change the narrative.

Most often, people don’t know due to lack of exposure and understanding. Accepting all human beings for who they are, simply human, will elevate our society and make this world a better place for all of us.

I am honored to be able to screen my film “Zoo (Volkerschau)” at the 4th Annual NAWRB Nexus Conference on July 17, 2017. #letsallbehuman

Screening Session Information
Your Personal Life: Impacting Others – Monday, July 17th, 2:15 – 3:00 PM

2015 Recognition/Awards
Excellence Award: International Film Festival for Women – Zero Discrimination – Social Issues – Jakarta, Indonesia
Audience Award: The South Carolina Cultural Film Festival – North Charleston, South Carolina
Merit Award: Best of Shorts – Women Filmmakers – San Diego, CA
Audience Award: Baltimore International Black Film Festival – Baltimore, MD
Best Short: Mt. Vernon Film Festival – Mt. Vernon, NY
Most Socially Conscious: Urban Mediamakers Film Festival – Norcross, GA
Best Script: I Filmmakers International Festival – Marbella, Spain (Chosen from 1,223 submissions, 70 countries, 100 films screened)

California African American Museum (CAAM) – LA, CA
African American Women in Cinema (AAWIC) – NY, NY
Skokie Public Library – Skokie, IL
Exhibit on Human Zoos: Museo de Pier Maria Rossi, Berceto, Itlay – Curated by the Associazone Culturale Sentieri Dell Arte Kids World Film Festival – Washington, DC

2016 Recognitions/Award
Winner: Best of Narration, Women in Film & Television International (WIFTI) – New Orleans, LA
Platinum Winner: International Movie Awards – Jakarta, Indonesia
Winner: Best Director of a Short Film, Hudson Valley Film Festival – Monroe, NY

2017 Recognitions/Awards
Official Selection: Rosebud Film Awards – Arlington, VA


Writer, Producer and Director, Zoo (Volkerschau)

“Zoo (Volkerschau)” Screening at 4th Annual NAWRB Nexus Conference.

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