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Chrysalis Mama - A Short Story

A Tale of Love & Metamorphosis - A first-ever animation by a woman exploring themes of Mother and Child and challenging Age-ism and the definition of "emerging artist".

  • Jenelle Valentine Davenport
  • Jenelle Valentine Davenport
  • Jenelle Valentine Davenport
  • Christian Bodhi on Pixabay
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    2 minutes 38 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 15, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    100 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jenelle Valentine Davenport

Eccentric Writer, Teacher, Mom, Artist - a Black and Native Woman of mixed ancestry that touches Africa, Asia, North America, the Pacific Islands, and violently to Europe, who Remembers and asks others to Remember. An Ivy Leaguer Traveler Mother who honors homelessness and triumph. Connected to the Ancient and to the Future.

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Director Statement

Chrysalis Mama is an interpretation of a short story I wrote in 2015, a story of Love and Metamorphosis that explores the relationship between Mother and Child, a theme I explore in other art.

Made as an experiment using the time-lapse feature on my daughter's old iPad, I had to commit to every mark. Unable to erase mistakes, this allowed the story to come to life "as-is" - authentically and un-retouched. Rough and pure.

The short story was published under "anonymous" by a major publisher (initials: HC), who later apologized, saying they somehow "lost" my name in a digital transfer of assets, but who must have thought that, while worth publishing under "anonymous", my story was somehow not worth publishing as the product of an older woman, especially a woman of color, back in 2016.

Sadly, this was not the last time that I and other women encountered this "erasure". Recently, I still see it in competitions and in calls for "emerging artists" that somehow always put an age limit into the fine print. As if an older artist cannot somehow be "emerging", somehow cannot be new and fresh and part of the future.

Yes, we can.

I have joined the collaborative voice of other Older Women all over the world and of all backgrounds who say that we, too, are part of the future of filmmaking. I am also one of the voices of many Black women, Asian women, Native women and other Women of Color who plan to bring our stories out of the realm of personal and individual, and into the realm of universal.