Last night I had the chance to attend a screening of Handmade Nation at the Museum of Contemporary Craft
here in Portland. Most of you are probably pretty familiar with the
culture of DIY, but author and director, Faythe Levine has done a great
job of bringing many of the diverse activities within the community
(whether it be people who make things for fun or profit, galleries or
shops, etc.) in to an inspiring film for anyone who makes things, wants
to make things or who supports those who make things. (more after the jump)
I'm back in Portland, still processing and reflecting on my trip to the Midwest. I'll be posting more about that soon, but in the meantime, I wanted to share this video about displacement/gentrification in Detroit, featuring Detroit-based female hip-hop artist, Invincible. It's a beautiful example of how powerful a story becomes when different forms of media are combined.
This past weekend, we at Bitch were honored to be a community partner in Portland's Queer Documentary Film Festival's screening of FtF: From Female to Femme. QDOC is the only festival in the United States (and apparently one of two worldwide) devoted to queer documentaries, and FtF: From Female to Femme is – to my knowledge – the first feature length documentary that explores the experiences and identities of femme as a queer identity. This lack of femme analysis is a little alarming, considering the breadth and depth of analyses focused on butch, FtM, and other masculine(/queer) identities. But then again, as books like Julia Serano's Whipping Girl: A Transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity illustrate, femme identities and femininity in general continue to be misunderstood and maligned (and in some senses, masculinity so fetishized), so it also makes sense.
Here in Northeast Portland is a place called In Other Words Women's Books and Resources, a nonprofit bookstore founded in 1993. I've only lived in Portland for a year, so most of what I know I've learned from talking to people and reading news articles, like this.
A few nights ago I went to a screening of a short documentary called Moving In: A nonprofit feminist bookstore and the politics of place. The documentary, created by Dawn Jones (who's on the board of Bitch; photographed below), examines the bookstore's 2006 move, which resulted from being economically displaced from their original neighborhood, to a historically African-American neighborhood. The film is fantastic; you should see it if you have the opportunity.
Amy Richards met Jim McKay as he was getting ready to release his first film, Girls Town, in 1995. McKay was kind (and political) enough to offer his film to the Third Wave Foundation, which Richards cofounded, for a benefit screening. Though Third Wave has had dozens of events since then, none has come close to matching its success, in terms of sheer dollars raised in one sitting (over $20,000), the number of new donors and allies attracted to the organization’s work, and the unparalleled visibility that comes when you combine social justice and Hollywood.