Damien, is a tall, muscular, dark skinned African American man residing in the Southern region of the United States. The color of Damien's skin, coupled with his size makes him the target of suspicion and he is often seen as a threat - increasing his anxiety for fear of being the next Ahmaud Arberry or George Floyd. This three part visual begins with an exploration of the everyday, racialized stressors Damien experiences - people crossing the street to avoid him, women who are afraid to share the elevator with him, his increased anxiety around traffic stops, and the constant reminders that black lives are in danger. This transitions into a powerful performance piece, centered around the pursuit of “Liberty and Justice for all.” It ends with a juxtaposition - a visual celebration of black joy, which invites the viewer to consider what life could be like for Damien and others in a world where race based brutality didn’t exist.

  • Mattie Waters
  • Jules Downum
  • Tim Cofield
    Director of Photography
    It All Begins With A Song (2018), Born in Bristol (2017)
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Music Video
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 5, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Black Magic Pocket Cinema 6k
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Mattie Waters, Jules Downum

In 2020 Pop-Up Project directors, Mattie and Jules, produced, wrote and directed The Light We Share. This 40 minute dance film highlights stories of personal struggle and triumph, set during the global pandemic and civil unrest of 2020.

Mattie Waters is a life-long performer and producer. She has studied and performed in the theatre since the age of seven and has worked professionally as a dancer and actor since 2006.
She was contracted as an in-house actor for Mill Mountain’s equity theatre in Virginia in 2006-07. In 2008, She received her BA Honors in Theatre Arts from the University of Manchester London, England. After which, she moved to New York City where she was a company member with Chicago City Limits and a resident producer at a speakeasy in the East Village. After moving back to her hometown of Chattanooga, TN, Mattie co-founded the performing arts production non-profit, The Pop-up Project, in Chattanooga, TN. Since its inception, she has co-produced and directed over 30 performance art productions and 12 short films that provided fair wage opportunities for over 150 artists.

Jules Downum Co-Director, Writer, Producer
Co-founder of The Pop-up Project
Jules Downum is a professional dancer, director, producer, and the Co-founder and director of The Pop-up Project (TPUP).
She was born and raised in the tiny town of Whitwell, TN. Growing up in a place so void of difference - in race, religion, culture, nationality, language, and political affiliation - led to a deep desire to know more about the world and the endless variety in it: She became intensely curious about people and their stories. This led her to pursue an MA in cultural anthropology from San Diego State University. What she learned during her time there was that you don’t have to travel to the far reaches of the world to find unique stories, that every human has a story that is vivid and complex - full of struggle and triumph.
Via The Pop-up Project, Jules has combined her dance and production skills with her passion for writing and storytelling. Since its founding in 2016 TPUP has produced and directed 13 short films and dozens of immersive events.

Add Director Biography