Digital City at McWane Science Center


On Wednesday night I had a great time at the Digital City movie event which showed short ethnographic movies made by UAB students.  Eight ethnographic films were shown to a packed audience inside the IMAX in the McWane Science Center in downtown Birmingham.

These movies were made by students who were enrolled in the ethnographic film class inside the UAB Media Studies department.  Ethnography is a method used in social science in which community based research or fieldwork is conducted to learn about and represent a group of people or social phenomenon.  The students produced these films over a semester long research project.  The students had to investigate a social justice issue related to a local community or culture.

Before the show began; the music from Friends of Old Time Music & Dance was great.  They were featured in one of the movies!

The show featured eight ethnographic films ranging from hip-hop; seniors learning to use computers, graffiti artists, high school dropouts getting a second chance, people playing music, art programs at UAB, problems on Birmingham bus routes, and people who do storm spotting.

Ebony Hinton and Sierra Nicely produced “Awake: Hip-Hop Artistry in Birmingham.”

Nate Ennis produced “Never Too Late to Learn.”

Naithon Henning and Majaliwa Mzombwe produced “Abandoned Canvas: Painting on Birmingham’s Margins.”

Jessica Craig and Adrian Jones produced “We Came to Learn.”

Rachell Berry and Stephanie Cook produced “From Mountains to Metropolis: Old Time Music in Birmingham.”

Katelyn Armstrong and Ali Massoud produced “Physical Truths: Making Art at UAB.”

Melissa Crook and Daniel Twieg produced “Unfare System: Birmingham Public Transit.”

I was featured along with James Spann, John Brown, and T.D. Todd about storm spotting.  The film was titled “Riders on the Storm” and was produced by Kevin Franks and Tyler Malugani.  Yes I do look great up on a IMAX screen!

After all of the movies were shown; the audience gave a standing ovation to all of the filmmakers.

And the reception after the show was great as well!

Me with filmmakers Kevin Franks and Tyler Malugani.

It was a great night!  To learn more about UAB Media Studies visit http://www.uab.edu/mediastudies/

Check out past ethnographic films made by students at http://vimeo.com/channels/digitalcommunity.  I will let you know when this year’s films are put online!

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