Searching

These video portraits and accompanying audio are a contemporary study of the experience of black women as it relates to the ongoing devaluation of the black woman.

We live in times where there is easy access to some of the most inhumane murders, spread through footage captured on cell phones that connect billions of people to a very horrid yet intimate experience - the image of someone losing their life. People such as Trayvon Martin, who wore a hoodie the night of his murder - the same article of clothing that I wear daily on walks in my neighborhood; Or Tamir Rice - a boy who played with a toy gun when he was murdered - the same toy I enjoyed playing with as a child. Memories of these murders have sat with me and shaped my own personal identity and journey.

The artist found it important to document how these specific memories have affected women of color as this has resonated with her own personal identity. How do we care for black women during these times when they are specifically caring for everyone else in their community - their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons? When we stare at these women as they sit silently, are we re-discovering who they truly are or are we continuously disregarding their feelings in the midst of the racial tension currently happening in America? These visual portraits are important within the context of my work because they give the viewer an idea of the spectacle that black women become in the midst of these high profiled cases - silent bystanders searching for a way to voice their own concerns amongst the stigma created due to the effects of these memories.

The artist has chosen to evaluate this experience through the construct of a video loop where these women sit silent allowing themselves to be re-discovered through a more intimate gaze.

This forces the viewer to acknowledge the existence and often times vulnerability of these women giving these women the power to reclaim their own narrative and identity.

  • Le'Andra LeSeur
    Director
  • Jessica Green
    Key Cast
  • Sydney James
    Key Cast
  • Ivy Akiti
    Key Cast
  • Patricia E. Parsons
    Key Cast
  • Le'Andra LeSeur
    Key Cast
  • Jade Haselrig
    Key Cast
  • Jasmine Murray
    Key Cast
  • Shemera Sinkfield
    Key Cast
  • Pamela LeSeur
    Key Cast
  • Bianca George
    Key Cast
  • Allegra Jackson
    Key Cast
  • Taylor Meyers
    Casting
  • Patricia E. Parsons
    Casting
  • Taylor Meyers
    Production Design
  • Patricia E. Parsons
    Production Design
  • Project Type:
    Experimental
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 7 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 31, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Women of the Lens Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    November 26, 2017
    UK Premiere
Director Biography - Le'Andra LeSeur

Le’Andra LeSeur is a New York based artist who was raised in the Bronx and Atlanta respectively. She majored in Art History at Bucknell University, and then went on to pursue a second Bachelor's degree in photography from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, where she graduated in 2014.

While in Atlanta, Le’Andra began creating work driven by her passion to tell the stories of people within her community. It wasn’t until the verdict of the Trayvon Martin trial that she decided to focus her work on telling the stories of black men and women who had become voiceless due to unjust actions. Her artistic practice revolves around her passion for telling the stories of underrepresented people in America, more specific to how these stories reflect the inclusion of black men and women in that community. Taking inspiration from found images displayed in media, she works through deconstructing those images with varying mediums such as sound, video and performance/installation. In one of her current projects, Searching, she uses these three different mediums to display how black women have been directly affected by constructed stereotypes.

She has exhibited her work in notable group exhibitions including On Being Black at Arnika Dawkins Gallery. Le’Andra’s work can be found in permanent and private collections throughout the Southeast USA.

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