WE TELL: Exploring Participatory Community Media

By Grace Collins '22, March 22, 2021
Fifty Years of Participatory Community Media Featured at FLEFF

Some of the most anticipated titles being featured at FLEFF this year are those from the WE TELL: Fifty Years of Participatory Community Media series

A traveling national exhibition, WE TELL highlights media work produced by different community filmmaking entities from diverse neighborhoods across the United States. Featuring 41 separate media projects, these short-form documentaries take a look at critical issues from the perspectives of individuals directly affected. 

The exhibition, co-curated by documentary filmmaker Louis Massiah and FLEFF co-director Patricia Zimmermann, is split into six thematic categories: Body Publics; Collaborative Knowledges; Environments of Race and Place; States of Violence; Turf; and Wages of Work.

While 41 media projects may sound like a lot to take in, an a review of WE TELL from Screen Slate, film critic Maxwell Paparella calls it “singularly energizing to witness the tenacity of the social spirit at such scale, to acknowledge those who have risen to the occasion of our common crisis: organizing, agitating, educating, and documenting.”

The best part? FLEFF’s selection of WE TELL films will be available to the public free of charge. Each week, a different thematic category will be open for viewing, with a talkback every weekend featuring expert voices on the media. From the exploration of public health issues impacting marginalized communities through Body Publics to the labor struggles featured in Wages of Work and hyperlocal racial issues brought to light in Environments of Race and Place, the scope, impact, and depth of these media projects cannot be overstated.

Receiving some funding from a National Endowment for the Arts grant, We Tell: Fifty Years of Participatory Community Media is also sponsored by the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms and the Independence Public Media Foundation

The first of the WE TELL series, Body Publics, is available for viewing through FLEFF’s Eventive portal right now, with a talkback taking place on Saturday, March 27 at 1 PM. You don’t want to miss the chance to take part in this unique media experience!