Chicago, I See You

72 3Arts supporters
$5,355 raised of $5,000 goal
3ARTS MATCH SUPPORTED BY THE JOYCE FOUNDATION
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Kofi Ofosu-Yeboah's project was funded on December 15, 2015
    • 3Arts matched
    • 107% contributed

In a Nutshell

As a filmmaker who hails from West Africa, Ghana, I explore through my work the lived experiences of African people around the globe and how identity is constructed for survival, struggle, resistance, and reinvention as it relates to colonialism, slavery, and urban militarized spaces. My new project, “Chicago I See You,” is a bold and provocative art film that turns an outsider lens on this city of Chicago. It is an intense place, a battlefield that is at once a playground and an artist enclave. The film follows a cadre of young talented Black artists known as the Concrete Kings, whose work occupies a place between quasi street theater and protest art. They are supported by an all-star cast of local artists and activists who add their voices to notions of dismantling, disrupting, and questioning institutionalized racism. I have already filmed 10 hours of footage that reveals the complex intersections of race, space, and identity at the center of the ensemble’s work. With this campaign, I am raising funds to complete a short film about them that I hope to screen both locally in classrooms and selected film festivals at home and abroad. Contributed funds will be used to help cover equipment rental, film stock, and post-production costs, which are critical for the film's completion.


The Full Story...

"Chicago I See You” will be constructed as a work of cinema that experiments with a visual vernacular that builds on a collage in which archival footage, still photos, and “found audio” will be juxtaposed with the Concrete Kings’ hybridized engagement of call-and-response, dance, acrobatics, comedy, and straight-talk which deploys instant conversations on race, identity, and place. The completed film will give the audience a nuanced, visceral, and sometimes disturbing look at a city whose brutal politics and legendary racial bias are as old as its art revolution. As a director, I approach material from a purely collaborative perspective by giving artists and the voices involved in the creative process agency through improvisation that grants each individual artist and collaborator the creative license to bring their own unique delivery to bear on the work we create. The result is almost always an unapologetic and bold work of art that maintains artistic sincerity and dares to express what Black elite artists and the academy have co-opted and commodified for their artistic portfolio and prestige.

In “Chicago I See You,” these artists do not only reclaim their humanity, they re-imagine a city where they too can impact change and advance policy that restores integrity and value to devalued Black lives. For this cause, they live and make art.

Why am I doing this? It is in part a vow of artistic chastity, a commitment to the truth and integrity of my art practice. It is a reaffirmation of purpose and a call to filmmaking that engages with audiences without lying to funders, film festivals, and art organizations to gain the approval of peers and the art community. This film is a celebration that honors the gains of bold artists who have enriched my soul and continue to challenge me to be creatively fearless. The world is not a place for “safe art.”

Thank yous

Contribute any amount or choose from the levels below.

  • $20 - Personal thank you on social media, and a free download of the film poster.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $50 - Personal thank you on social media, a free download of the film poster, and an invitation to a future screening.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $100 - “Patron Sponsor” credit in the completed film, plus a personal thank you on social media, a free download of an autographed film poster, and an invitation to a future screening.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $250 - “Gold Sponsor” credit in the completed film, plus invitation to a “meet-and-greet” with the cast and crew at an advance screening, and an autographed DVD of the film.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
  • $500 - “Executive Producer” credit in the completed film, plus invitation to a “meet-and-greet” with the cast and crew, VIP seating at the premiere screening, and thank you from the stage.
    ($0.00 is tax deductible.)
Kofi Ofosu-Yeboah image
Born in Ghana, Kofi Ofosu-Yeboah is following in the footsteps of his ancestors, Djibril Diop Mambèty and Fela Kuti. The cinema is his weapon of choice. His is a trajectory ...
  • Update 1: Almost There
    Posted on December 03, 2015

    Greetings!

    What a tremendous role you have each played in getting us this far with our campaign. We are almost funded with about 21% to go. More than anything else, I have come to appreciate how the generous contributions of donors like you make our art practice possible. Here is sharing a production still from a session with the Concrete Kings.  Thank you for your generosity.

    A production still with the Concrete Kings

    • Thank you to the following for contributing to 3Arts with the recommendation that we support this project.

    • Ena Richter

    • Adewole Abioye

    • Jon Satrom

    • Kwame Ohene-Adu

    • STEPHANIE A-YANKSON

    • Akua Oppong-Anane

    • Ezra Daniels

    • Nana Ofosu Yeboah

    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Udy Akpan

    • selorm senyefia

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    • Anonymous Supporter

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    • Anonymous Supporter

    • Rahim BRANCH

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    • Johann Richter

    • Elorm Addae-Nuku

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    • Anonymous Supporter

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    • Johann Richter

    • Amy Wainwright

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    • Joseph Lartey

  • ....
    on Dec 03, 2015
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3AP is funded in part by grants from:

The Field Foundation  Illinois Arts Council