In an effort to raise funds for the Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement’s Athens Freedom Fund, local filmmaker James Preston created a new short documentary that combines 22 minutes of footage from his 2019 full-length Athens Rising 2: Transmittance with six minutes from the recent protests in Athens. This is Not New: The Ongoing Work for Racial Justice in Athens opens with Louisiana-based guest curator Drék Davis discussing “Picturing the Black Fantastic,” an exhibition at the Lyndon House Arts Center that contemplated the complex identities and narratives—both ancestral and envisioned—of African Americans. The focus then shifts to activists Knowa and Mokah Jasmine Johnson, who have spearheaded several initiatives through the AADM since its launch in 2016.
The final scenes snap to the recent past with live on-the-ground recordings of protestors being gassed after the March for a World Without Cops on May 31, as well as photographs and descriptions of the AADM’s Justice for Black Lives event that followed on June 6. This is Not New illustrates exactly that; though Black Lives Matter has finally caught the global eye, the movement for racial and social equity in Athens has been steadily gaining momentum for years.
See the new short documentary below.
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