You Have Arrived
A film on the current protest against George Floyd's murder
“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people." - Martin Luther King Jr.
This film is a demonstration of George Floyd's murder. "George Floyd, 46, died after being arrested by police outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Footage of the arrest on 25 May shows a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Mr Floyd's neck while he was pinned to the floor. Mr Chauvin, 44, has since been charged with murder. The key events that led to Mr Floyd's death happened within just 30 minutes. Based on accounts from witnesses, video footage and official statements, here's what we know so far." - BBC
The six years that I have spent in New York, I have witnessed drastic changes in America. I experienced the deprivation and denials faced as a foreigner in the USA. In this film, You Have Arrived, includes footages of Trump's presidential victory speech in 2016, Childish Gambino's music video This Is America, Custom & Border protection manual played at the airports, the New York Times' report on the protest to prosecute the police officers that murdered George Floyd, and lastly the work of Barbara Kruger - Untitled(Questions).
In 2016, when Trump became the president, the dynamics in the U.S. shifted. Being one himself - he empowers white-supremacist and condones their behaviours. He enforces measures to keep immigrants out of the United States. Debates were made that the phrase "white-supremacist" is rather too simple and not enough to translate his foul political values.
In 2018, Childish Gambino (Donald Glover), released This Is America. The music video features haunting images of gun violence and black oppression. Subtle references to real-life events were made. The opening scene of a man shot in the head is said to be the death of an unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin, who was shot by George Zimmerman in 2012. The warehouse of the video is interpreted as the country's foundation of systemic white supremacy and oppression. The outfit of Childish Gambino features military pants and is a replica of Fela Kuti (a Nigerian musician in the 70s). The style of dances is called Shoki and Gwara Gwara which are originated in South Africa. Everytime that Childish Gambino fires the gun in the video, he hands it over to a character who takes it away in a red cloth. It is in reference to America's willingness to protect guns right over people. The most disturbing scene in the video is the killing of an all-black church choir by a rifle gun. This massacre is a reference to the 2015 mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina - where a white gunman killed nine black believers. Over the years, mass shootings have been desensitized and normalized in America. Towards the end, there were a group of teenage boys filming the crime scene on their phone. This is said to represent the rise of viral videos of police brutality and racist encounters. Childish Gambino uses himself as a character of a black face playing a white man.
At the international terminal entries in the U.S., a custom & border protection video promotes the righteousness and sincerity of America welcoming diversity. Seeing how the United States has evolved, this video feels no more than a satire and irony of the truth.
The footages from the New York Times exposed the current protest going on the New York for George Floyd.
In the conclusion of this video, is an interview with James Baldwin. James Baldwin is an American novelist, play-write, poet and activist during the mid-1900. He explored the intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies.
In 1990, Barbara Kruger's Untitled(Questions) stated on the walls of MoCA (Modern Contemporary Art, L.A.): Who is beyond the law? Who is bought and sold? Who is free to choose? Who salutes the longest? Who prays loudest? Who dies first? Who laughs last?
In 2020, I question - what has changed?
At the end of this film, the screen turns black. We should take this time to remember those who we have lost and those who have faced injustice. Let's fight back against racism, injustice, and inequality experienced by the Black community.