In Conversation with Erick Msumanje and Alexis Hithe

Erick Msumanje, Alexis Hithe, and Kristen Laciste

Erick Msumanje’s short film, VOLTA VOLTA, and the accompanying artist statement, written by Alexis Hithe, reflect on the “ritual” and “digital” spaces experienced by Black bodies. Editorial board member Kristen Laciste had the privilege to interview Msumanje, who is currently a Film and Digital Media Ph.D. student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Hithe, an alumna of the Visual Arts program at the University of California, San Diego, and a collaborator with the collective, Lotus. Laciste asked them about their endeavor, particularly the film’s inspirations and the articulation of “ritual” and “digital.” Laciste interviewed Msumanje in person and Hithe via Skype and over the phone on June 14, 2018. The following is the result of the dialogue between Msumanje, Hithe, and Laciste.

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Erick Msumanjeis an award-winning hybrid filmmaker and visual artist. He holds a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of San Diego. His work primarily focuses on telling meditative and poetic stories that blur the lines between fiction and non-fiction. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in the Film and Digital Media program atUniversity of California, Santa Cruz.

Story-making and history-telling, Alexis Hithe creates conceptual and experimental work that focuses on the Black experience and its imaginings. A graduate of University of California, San Diego’s Visual Arts program, Alexis draws inspiration from her childhood in the Mojave Desert of southern California and takes a non-traditional approach to filmmaking; she believes that truth emerges somewhere between doing and dreaming, and practices radical patience as a part of her art process.

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