Shaping Stories, Building Power Track

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Shaping what a place is and what it can become

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How are Detroiters and other marginalized communities building power by shifting stories that misrepresent them? This track will uplift moving-image narrative-shifting work happening through the Detroit Narrative Agency (DNA) and other aligned projects/models for equity and collaboration in media. We will exchange stories and strategies through screenings, installations, workshops, and skill-sharing sessions. Participants will leave with a deeper understanding of narrative-shifting media being produced in and of Detroit and will build connections with other narrative-shifting projects in the DNA ecosystem and beyond.


This track is coordinated by the Detroit Narrative Agency.
About Detroit Narrative Agency:
The stories we tell about a place form a kind of DNA, shaping what that place is and what it can become. DNA is committed to shifting the stories that are currently being told in and of Detroit to advance social justice. We are incubating quality, compelling stories with a cohort of Black and people of color filmmakers in Detroit to develop short films with accompanying community impact strategies.

Call for Participation

We believe that the stories we tell about a place form a kind of DNA, shaping what that place is and what it can become. Detroit Narrative Agency (DNA) is committed to shifting the stories that are currently being told in and of Detroit to advance social justice, and incubating quality and compelling stories with a cohort of Black and people of color filmmakers in Detroit to develop short films with accompanying community impact strategies.

This track aims to examine the ways in which stories are told through moving-image and other platforms, and how those stories can innovate their craft, be accountable to community, and build power. We are deeply rooted in Detroit and excited to exchange stories and strategies with other communities who are building power by shifting narratives. The track will also be a platform for the DNA cohort to present work in progress screenings of their short films, and the work associated with their community impact strategies.

We are excited to review proposals for track sessions that are accessible, creative, engaging, and value the expertise that is present in the room. The deadline to propose a session in March 16,2018.

All session proposals should include:

  • The key questions or narratives you are looking to answer or challenge in your session.
  • How your work is rooted in Detroit or other communities who are similarly building power by shifting narratives about themselves.
  • A connection to narrative-shifting across storytelling platforms, with a focus on moving-image-based mediums.

Examples of possible sessions:

  • Presentations, screenings, or performances that highlight the ways you are doing narrative-shifting work through moving-image and other storytelling platforms in Detroit and other communities challenging unjust narratives
  • Strategy sessions and hands-on workshops that explore impact strategies and challenge filmmakers to create accountable and engaged community storytelling that is generative, not extractive
  • Opportunities to share stories, skills, and best practices on collaborative filmmaking across experience levels
  • Conversations, mealtime meetups, and workshops that focus on how to build and sustain an ecosystem of narrative-shifters in Detroit and across communities who are building power by shifting narratives

You can find more information about the Detroit Narrative Agency’s work at www.alliedmedia.org/dna and read more about our current phase on this blog post.

If you have any questions, email contact DNA by clicking here. The deadline to propose a session in March 16,2018.


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