"MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! : THE WATER AND THE ZOMBIE" (2020)

This film is just one of many drafts. It was also the film presented at my Masters Symposium for NYU's Performance Studies department. 

Written By: Breanna Taylor

Directed By: Breanna Taylor

Edited By: Marquise Mays & Breanna Taylor

Narration By: Breanna Taylor

A short film analyzing the complicated relationship between Black people and bodies of water. In the spirit of something being lost below the waves, only to resurface again; I am looking for what emerges or resurfaces from this study to help make sense of how water has been weaponized against Black bodies, looking specifically at the Atlantic Ocean.

 I revisit the time period of enslavement to explain how Black people have become a relic of the impacts of forcible and violent movement across the ocean. Strategically utilizing this word 'relic,' I am making a connection to the 'zombie' horror figure, in which I use as a way to highlight the theme of “experimentation/zombification,” of the Black person as it relates to enslavement, positioning the ocean as the site of experimentation. The zombie will also be used to emphasize the topic of embodiment and social death as it relates to anti-blackness. It is my goal to not only bring about new ways of understanding the relationship between Black people and water, but how we continue to wade through death everyday.  

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"Salt, Fat, Ashes, Heat." (2020)

Created By: Eva Margarita

Directed By: Breanna Taylor

Produced By: Mateo Hurtado

Stage Managed By: Yarie Vazquez

In Association With: The Brown Theatre Collective & The Tank NYC

In exploration of an anarchive of blackness, in everyday life, Eva Margarita’s ‘Salt, Fat, Ashes, Heat,’ digests the idea of consuming the other. Done through a cooking practice, this conjuring aims to trace the cyclical flow of gathering, knowledge, and mourning for black folks across the Americas. Taking an endo-cannibalistic approach, Eva Margarita resorted to cook three different entrees with her father’s ashes to not only honor his spirit but to show how communities pass on knowledge through a practice in eating and conjuring with another. To consume the flesh is to commit to its history and its (re)invention. Taking place over the course of 12 hours, ‘Salt, Fat, Ashes, Heat’ served as a journey in memory, flesh, and the human need to accompany one another in life and death.

*In the spirit of conjuring an anarchive and embracing the notion of 'you had to be there to see it,'  the performance is not available for viewing, but please click on the 'learn more' box below to hear Eva speak on her project and the continuation of conjuring. You can also click the 'panel,' tab to see the panel discussion about the performance. 
"PARADISE PARK: A VISUAL POEM." (2020)

A POEM FOR MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

I was inspired to write this poem after viewing some images from @blackarchives.co on Instagram! With so much of my focus being on my water project, I try and let flow of whatever I feel, think, etc. I imagined this poem being an accompanying voice to the beautiful people at the park, living life as best as they could. The fun of being in the water, the holiness of the baptisms, and how that fun and holiness comes together to meet with God wherever you are. Enjoy!

Sources:

1. State of Florida Archive

2. National Geographic

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"LIVING DEAD" (2020)

"Living Dead," seeks to explore the confines of social death through the lens of Blackness. Honing in on the concept of "social death," I employ the "zombie' horror figure as a way to critique this deadness and its cause. This film in connection to "Distant Memories," is the foundational work on my project "MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY," in which I will examine how social death and Blackness have been embodied (the zombie), in response to water being used as a site of execution, punishment, and horror. 

Written By: Breanna Taylor

Directed By: Breanna Taylor

Actor: Breanna Taylor

Edited By: Marquise Mays & Breanna Taylor

Cinematography By: Marquise Mays

"DISTANT MEMORIES" (2020)

Distant Memories, an experimental, non-dialogue film hones in on the nightmare of Saz, who is tortured by water dreams. In connection to my project, "MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY!, I wanted to experiment with dream elements and the concept of "ghostly" presence. Just a little context in case some of the material goes over your head:

 

I’m doing a project about the relationship between black bodies and water, and how water has been used as a weapon (site of execution) during enslavement into the present. The character in the film is basically having nightmares about people being thrown overboard and drowning, which signals to embodied trauma, or the way the body processes and responds to trauma. The character gets scared once he realizes his dreams might have actually manifested a spirit from the deep.

Written By: Breanna Taylor

Directed By: Breanna Taylor

Actor: Jabril "Is" Muhammed

Assistant Director(s): Emily Mondrus & Blair Taller