Nigger Jim

Taos poet, artist, musician and teacher Christine Autumn collaborates with M. Elwell Romancito again. This time, their project took one of their spoken-word collaborations and made a video.

The video, “Nigger Jim,” edited by Romancito, explores the many recent and past references to racial violence. It is composed of moving and still images from the Prelinger Archive, along with some video of Autumn reciting her poem.

The subject matter is not for the faint-of-heart, says Romancito, who confesses watching the video raised goose bumps on her arms every time.

“At first, I didn’t think I was up to the project, but after I started researching, name upon name of the sacrificed came to mind, and as the project stretched into summer, so did the newly dead. I know some people will have a problem with the subject matter. They will say I should not make videos about the bad things in the world and stick to pretty pictures. Others will say, as a white woman, I have no business stepping into the discussion,” she says. “I feel it’s necessary to examine our culture and question things if this is the way we’re headed.”

Autumn says the poem was written back in the early 2000s. People were reacting to high-profile cases like Michael Richards racial outburst, among others. She says she was surprised that so many of the people she shared the poem with appeared to be either offended by it or incapable of addressing the subject matter. This, she says, is why she felt it was so important to revisit the poem and its sentiment in light of recent racial tensions.

Autumn and Romancito say they have plans for more collaborations, and hope their work will be received in the spirit it is offered.

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: