The Harriet Tubman Haiku Film Project in Collaboration with Sonia Sanchez

Harriet Tubman Haiku Film Project by Sonia Sanchez & Nadine Patterson from Nadine Patterson on Vimeo.

The Harriet Tubman Haiku Film Project will be the first in a line of projects using the Haiku form along with the medium of film to reveal the herstory and history of African people in the Americas. We have made a commitment to the “50/50 for 2020” Film Industry hiring challenge by engaging Black women film creatives at every stage in the making of this project.

Harriet Tubman Haiku Film Project (working title) is a meditation on resistance, history and nature. Professor Sanchez’s words speak to us today as many in America struggle to find their own liberation. The imagery is meant to heal and aid the viewer in reflection upon the text. The version on display today is a short sample of the concept. More voice recording, music, additional footage and archival material will be added in the coming months.

Harriet Tubman Collage

As we move the project forward, we seek funding to complete the sound design and mix, color correction, acquisition of archival materials and to film the escape route Harriet Tubman traversed from the Eastern Shore, to Philadelphia and onward to Canada. We will photograph the night sky and show the constellations Harriet Tubman used to guide Africans on the Underground Railroad at night. The natural landscapes and night sky will be intercut with footage of  archival materials such as maps of Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Canada in the 1850’s.

Two versions with an experimental jazz sound track: a five minute high definition [HD] film for internet streaming, festivals, screenings and traditional classroom use; and a Digital Dome Film version for planetarium and digital dome classrooms.

Why are we creating a version for planetariums? The night sky was an essential guide for enslaved Africans who made their bid for freedom. Individuals and groups who escaped traveled mostly at night to avoid being captured. The effect of being surrounded by sound and images in a planetarium, or digital dome environment, will yield a greater emotional impact upon the viewer.

Thank you to the Leeway Foundation for awarding director Nadine M. Patterson an Art and Change Grant of $2,500 for the March 2019 cycle for the Harriet Tubman Haiku Film Project. And thanks to Tatiana Bacchus for being our change agent!

Work-in-Progress at the Painted Bride Art Center

We projected on gallery walls our three-and-a-half minute work-in-progress at the Painted Bride Art Center, Friday December 7th, 2018 at “The What’s Happening Happening”.  Creative Team – Sonia Sanchez, poet/performer/producer; Nadine Patterson, camera/editor/director; Marlene G. Patterson, researcher/executive producer; Stephanie Malson, camera. Tech – Shot with the Panasonic GH4. Photos by Nadine Patterson and Charline Cravison.