This documentary was filmed, on the East End of Long Island, New York, in the ten days leading up to the election of Barack Obama, from October 26 to November 3rd, 2008.
The documentary was inspired by an earlier short YouTube video piece done in September 2008 in support and in response to the overwhelming imperative of women to have a voice in the upcoming election. It began on Sunday evening in early September when we decided to send out an email to thirty women to come to a field the following Sunday to make this video. Four hundred fifty women came that day. During the editing of this three minute video short it became obvious of the strength and articulateness of the women who stood before us. This process demonstrated the sheer power and importance of giving women a place to speak in this historic time.
In late October, we invited women from our community, which included all ages and backgrounds, and who are teachers, farmers, artists, health professionals, domestic workers, retail workers, waitresses, students, mothers, grandmothers, business owners, and more, to create a visual and audio document of this moment and what it meant to them.
In thinking through some of the ideas behind our work, it was clear that presently and historically, women have experienced and continue to experience censorship and self censoring in response to social, cultural, economic and physical realities. And as the election neared, we felt it was imperative to give voice – to set out to create a place where the words of women could be heard and respected, without judgment and without fear.
Each woman sat for a photographic and still video portrait and spoke to, “ What does it feel like to be a women in this moment and in this time? They spoke of gender, of race, of class, of hope and dreams for their children and for themselves told through personal stories, or the eyes of their ancestors, in music, in poetry or simply sat silently letting their faces tell a story.
We believe we’ve tapped into the hopes and fears, and of the shame and pain, of the silences borne out of history and especially of these last years.
This film is an opening out of silence, to affirm and reaffirm that every voice matters and should be honored.
This film also represents and shows a renewed sense of community activism borne through the use of new media and the power of communication. This speaks, yet again, to the our collective need to be part of a human experience to be shared together, and evolutionary ways we are adapting to our social and cultural environment as impacted and defined by technology, which could replicated as a model for other communities to explore and define what makes our world.