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Director: Iqaa The Olivetone
Producer: Invincible for Emergence Media, Joe Namy, and Rola Nashef
Winner of the HOUSING RIGHTS AWARD
ABOUT THE FILM
From Producer and Performer Invincible
Finale and I spent several years developing the song “Locusts” by interviewing people in our community about the untold stories that were being erased by unsustainable development. Finale’s grandfather drove him around and gave him an oral history of the city. We spoke to several Detroit mentors and activists including Gwen Mingo, who told us the story of her struggle in Brush Park.
Around that time, Detroit was preparing for the Superbowl XL. In an attempt to cover up its “blight,” it demolished several historic buildings and razed the downtown Motown Records headquarters to build a parking lot. Artifacts of Motown were literally litter, blowing in the wind down Woodward Avenue.
That was the last straw. We needed to develop “Locusts” beyond our lyrics into something that represented a wider community perspective from youth to elders, organizers to artists. We collaborated with director Iqaa the Olivetone and my production company Emergence Media to create a docu-music video that would do more than preserve the history and expose the problems, but also highlight the solutions, spark imaginations about the possibilities and inspire people to take action.
The predatory planning is spreading to areas of the city beyond Downtown. In Southwest Detroit, they are attempting to build a second international bridge crossing in my neighborhood, which will displace more people and create more pollution. All of the people interviewed in the film continue to connect, inspire and empower each other in their collective struggle. LOCUSTS has been screened in cities around the world, alongside local documentaries addressing gentrification and displacement, as a way of exchanging strategies of resistance.
RELATED CATEGORIESeconomic justice, family & society, racial justice, Media That Matters 9,
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