“To be born black in the South is to be hyper-visible and invisible. To merely exist is a bold declaration, especially in a part of the world that was never intended for you to be free. It’s to run barefoot across a plain of land that your grandparents once picked cotton, climb trees where black bodies like yours once hung, to sit in church sobbing and not know why, as all the adults around you fall into a fit of hysteria. It’s to be free for a moment of the emotional toil of unresolved pain- pain that has found respite the moment your feet hit the ground in dance.
As a filmmaker- my work centers around the unearthing of my own repressed memory, as I reflect on the experience of growing up in a part of America that made me, but was never made for me. “
Zenzele Ojore is a writer/director and interdisciplinary artist. While studying photography and film at the Rhode Island School of Design (2018), she traveled to Chile with Adobe to capture a story on the melting glaciers of Patagonia, and received a fellowship to work on a photo series in the Southwest section of Uganda titled “The Buhoma Side of Bwindi”. Zenzele screened her first short film at the 2013 SXSW film festival in Austin; raised in Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia her work is inspired by the eccentric spirit of the American South.
Most recently, Zenzele was selected as the 2019 Sundance Horizon Award winner for her short film The South is My Sister’s Skin. Her film premiered during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City and she was provided a grant by the Adrienne Shelly Foundation.