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Shelby Moore Cullom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shelby Moore Cullom
Shelby Moore Cullom-cropped.jpg
Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference
In office
April 1911 – March 4, 1913
Preceded byEugene Hale
Succeeded byJacob Harold Gallinger
United States Senator
from Illinois
In office
March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1913
Preceded byDavid Davis
Succeeded byJ. Hamilton Lewis
17th Governor of Illinois
In office
January 8, 1877 – February 16, 1883
LieutenantAndrew Shuman
John Marshall Hamilton
Preceded byJohn L. Beveridge
Succeeded byJohn M. Hamilton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 8th district
In office
March 4, 1865 – March 3, 1871
Preceded byJohn T. Stuart
Succeeded byJames C. Robinson
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
BornNovember 22, 1829
Monticello, Kentucky
DiedJanuary 28, 1914(1914-01-28) (aged 84)
Washington, D.C.
Political partyRepublican

Shelby Moore Cullom (November 22, 1829 – January 28, 1914) was a U.S. political figure, serving in various offices, including the United States House of Representatives, the United States Senate and the 17th Governor of Illinois.

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  • ✪ Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture: Hannah Beachler with Jacqueline Stewart
  • ✪ Here I will teach you how to pronounce 'Jenna' with Zira.mp4


Hello, hello. Hi. Welcome to tonight's Rouse Visiting Lecture, generously supported by the Rouse Visiting Artist Fund. I am super delighted and fangirl geek out to welcome Hannah Beachler and Jacqueline Stewart. Let's give them-- [applause] For those who don't know me, I am Tony Griffin. I'm a professor of practice and urban planning here at the Graduate School of Design, and I'm also the director of the Just City Lab. So this conversation about filmmaking, and placemaking, and, a new term I just learned, world-building, has all the elements, both imaginary and real, that I think intersect with the work that we do here at the Graduate School of Design. World-building, as I've come to learn, is the process of constructing the imaginary. It requires much of the same considerations as the production designer, as we consider as architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and planners. These considerations might include, what's the geography and the ecology of place? What is its culture, its political, and/or development history? Who inhabits these places? What are their practices and traditions? How do they seek and find shelter, food, social interaction? Where do its citizens gather, convene, create community? What shapes the image of the city? What values or aspirations do we hold for its city dwellers? What utopian or dystopian terrain best enables the society's tale to be told? And what is the dominant cultural normative? Is it masculine or is it feminine? Is it blackness? Is it whiteness? Is it nationalists or is it nonconformists? We share same considerations in the work we do as designers. Now, in the US, city-building from whole cloth is virtually nonexistent or at least limited to the ways in which we build new suburban or ex-urban developments. However, globally, rapid urbanization trends are constructing new geographies for work, dwelling, commerce, entertainment, and social services. For our designing professions here at the Graduate School of Design, city building most often responds to existing context, politics or political leadership, financing and regulatory constraints, and socioeconomic patterns of city-building. And our interventions are often constrained by these contexts. Sometimes were successful through design at realizing the aspirations for the city and its citizens through design, while other times we simultaneously perpetuate inequalities in the city through our work. World-building, on the other hand, is free from these constraints and can construct both the desired and the fantastic. World-building constructs a city for the purpose of its inhabitants to play out specific scenarios of either conflict or celebration, solitude or community in their most idealized forms. Its intent can be daring and even confrontational, or it can be functional, practical, or accessible. Place-setting, either through world-building or representation of existing places and spaces is an integral part of the storytelling process of film making. It can be background or foreground, political or agnostic, compliant or complicit, real or imaginary, masculine or feminine, black or white. I am so excited to hear what Hannah and Jacqueline can offer through their creative process and examination of the role of film and the city and setting and hope that we might learn from their methodologies as we city makers, through the lens of architecture, landscape, planning, and design may take some of the imaginary into our built worlds. Let me introduce both Hannah and Jacqueline, and I'm going to read their bios, and you can give me the sign when you want to cut off their accolades. Hannah Beachler is a prolific production designer with an affinity for evocative designs and visuals. She crafts a unique emotional landscapes for every story. She recently began prepping for her next project with director and frequent collaborator Melina Matsoukas the pilot for FX's Y The Last Man, based on the comic book series. Beachler designed Marvel's Black Panther for director Ryan Coogler, which just became the ninth highest grossing film of all time, like, all time-- like, all time. [laughter] All time. Great. [applause] Her incredible work on film earned her a 2018 Saturn award for best production design. She previously collaborated with Coogler on Creed, The spinoff from Rocky series, starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, and Fruitvale Station, the 2013 Sundance Film Festival Breakout Film and winner of the [inaudible]. I knew I was gonna mess that up. And the Un Certain Regard Competition at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. She also collaborated with director Barry Jenkins on the 2017 Best Picture Oscar-winning film, Moonlight, a coming-of-age tale that transcends traditional genre boundaries. The film was named one of the top 25 movies of the 21st century by The New York Times. In 2016, Beachler designed Beyonce's stunning visual concept album Lemonade and took home the 2017-- there's some Beyhives in the house. We can get into that. Took home the 2017 Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design for Awards or Special Events and earned her a 2016 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Nonfiction Event or Award Special. Hannah is very acclaimed. Current collaborations include Academy Award nominated director Dee Rees, Grammy and Emmy nominated director Kahlil Joseph, Grammy Award winning director Melina Matsoukas, Academy Award nominated cinematographer Rachel Morrison, prolific cinematographers, [? alberti and syed, ?] legendary academic Academy Award winning costume designer, Colleen Atwood. Based in New Orleans, she is represented in the United States [inaudible],, so we'll applaud for them. She will be in conversation for the first part of our evening with Jacqueline Stewart, who's a professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. And tomorrow, she's being inducted into the Academy of Arts and Sciences here at Harvard. So let's give her a hand for that, too. [applause] Jacqueline's research and teaching explore African-American film cultures from the origins of the medium to the present, as well as the archiving and preservation of moving images and orphaned media histories, including non-theatrical, amateur, and activist film and video. She directs the South Side Home Movie Project and the Cinema 53 Screening and Discussion Series. Jacqueline is also director of the Grey Center for Art and Inquiry at the University of Chicago, and co-curator of the LA Rebellion Preservation Project at the UCLA Film and Television Archive. She also serves as an appointee to the National Film Preservation Board. Jacqueline is the author of the book, Migrating to the Movies-- Cinema in Black Urban Modernity, which has achieved recognition from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences being inducted tomorrow, as I said, and has been awarded fellowships from the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture, the Frank Institute for the Humanities at the University of Chicago, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for historical studies at Princeton, and the New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture Scholars-in-Residence Program. Before I invite these incredible women to join the stage, we have a short film from Hannah that's going to run for a few minutes. And then, ladies, the conversation and floor is all yours. Thank you and welcome. [applause] How's everyone doing? Beautiful. Good evening. Such a beautiful work, Hannah. Thank you very much. It such a pleasure to be here with you. It's a pleasure. Thank you for having me. This is really awesome. I'm having a good time. So Hannah has selected a range of images that are going to be running throughout our conversation, and we're going to try to keep up with them, but it's so much that we might fall behind or get a little bit ahead, so we hope you'll enjoy those while we have this conversation. Can I ask a super-basic question? Yes. It would be great to know what a production designer does. Yeah. And maybe you could talk about that through your experience on Moonlight, since this is the first in that range of images that we have. What do you oversee? Where do you enter into a production? I come in pretty quickly. So I get a script. It's usually in development at the time, a little before pre-production even, when we're on the ground at the production office. They'll give me a script, and I'll read it, and I'll decide, yes, I'm going to do this or, no, I'm not going to do this. And if I decide, yeah, I want to do this, I'll meet with the director. And I usually put together a little presentation to show him sort of what my feelings are about the script. So my presentations are just about my feelings. They're not about the things or what's in it. It's how I feel about the script. What do you mean how you feel? I know. Everything is about my feelings. All right here. It's all about me. Well, you know, for me to connect to piece of work, to a story-- because I really do consider myself a story designer, less a production designer, but that's the title that we have. So when you go to see a movie, it's because you want to laugh, or cry, or you do laugh or cry, or laugh through your tears, or you get angry, or you get a sense of inspiration. So you have all these feelings, right? And everything that's going on in the screen is doing this to you. I think one of the really big things is people don't often recognizes is the production design, which encompasses building the sets, designing the sets, paints, construction, set decoration, props. You know, I oversee or my purview is in costume design and hair and makeup. So it's really all the texture that you see on the screen that's moving you towards one emotion or another in complement with the story. So that's sort of what I do. So I oversee a lot of people. On something like Moonlight, I wasn't overseeing anything. There was five people, including myself. So it was like a crew of five women. And we did everything. s In that sense of it being such a small-budged film, you really just have to be resourceful. And things have to happen on the fly because you don't have a lot of time. You don't have a lot of prep time. You don't have a lot of time to shoot. So it's sort of finding locations. This is a very location-based-- and the production designer is also someone who will go with the location manager and find locations that I feel fit within the frame of what we're doing, and especially depending on how well I know the director. And then, I'll go with the director and say, look at these things. And I think this is what we could do here, or this is how we can augment it here. This is what I think. Because I have to keep in mind camera, blocking, actors, and how they like to act and adding details of things that you won't even see on film. So all those things are in consideration, too, with when I do a build. And then, I have to consider the crew, which is an odd thing to think to consider. But I have to have more than one entrance. Because you can't just have, depending on the size of the film, a bunch of people coming in out of one door. Some people will get angry very quickly. And then, they'll look at me like, where's the production designer? And I'll be like, ooh! So you know, it's finding, really, sometimes hidden ways to have those other doors or working that type of a thing into the design. Yeah, so it's just this incredible kind of like translator role, connecting role that you play because you're speaking to the larger vision of the film. And at the same time, you have to manage all these logistics, like where people can come and go or where the camera can even be placed in a particular scene. Yeah, exactly. I have to consider the weight of the crane, which is 5,000 pounds, and I know that now. [laughter] And it's six feet wide. I would say that came into play big time on Black Panther. We'll talk about that more later, but something like that-- the weight of the equipment that we have to bring into sets can be-- because a lot of times, when you do a period piece, something like Miles, I want to go into old places, old homes, what you just saw was the boxing ring was in a very old cathedral that they were trying to turn into an event space. And as soon as you walk on it, you know that the joists are no good and it has a sublevel. So it's like, you can't bring a crane in here. It'll go right through the floor. So then, I have to get an engineer to come out and to say how much weight we can put on the floor and then we have to have someone shore it up, get the construction. So I'm doing all of those things as well. Could you talk about-- and this is a great image to think about this-- That's my office. [interposing voices] That's just incredible. That was one wall. There was like 10 of those. I imagine you have to pull together-- or, in your practice, you pull together a wide range of images. You're pulling from-- speaking of Creed, you have to think about that franchise, and what the previous film looked like, if you're going to take up the life of Miles Davis-- Yeah. --there's a lot of complicated, and interesting, and sometimes conflicting information about him and his space. Well, that's part of the design within Miles Ahead was that by the time we get to him, and he's 75, and he's kind of still in his heroin addiction. We're not really sure where he is. But the point of Miles was that he can't really remember anything. Everything is sort of his life was so big and he was so big that everything was just got squished together. So a lot of what you see is a bunch of stuff from different parts of his life all in one place because he can't ever put it together. So when he's telling a story about the jazz club, he could mean Birdland, he could mean a jazz club in Paris. He could meet anywhere. So he kind of tried to put those things together and do-- I think it's the Village Vanguard. We did interior, the color of the Village Vanguard during the time he played there, but we did the exterior of the color of the Birdland. And when we see the story about him being arrested, it's because he can't remember which one it was. So it was really about his memory, and that's how he wanted to-- and his inability to go beyond himself. And that's what we wanted to do. And that's the space before we got there. And we started ripping stuff apart. There's an amazing scene in that film. If you haven't seen Miles Ahead-- because I know people have seen Lemonade and want to talk about Wakanda, but it's remarkable film. There's a Mormon when he's in an elevator, and then the elevator kind of-- a wall gives away, and he's in a club as you say. So there are all these ways that you were playing with the set design to get at this sense of his-- Of his memory, yeah. It seems like you must have a lot of fun shopping. You know, everyone says that to you when you're like, you come up with like five carts, and you're sweating, and you like-- phone is ringing, and you're-- everything is going off at the same time. And they're like, what job do you do? And you're just like, ugh. And they're like, that must be so much fun. And you're like, does it look like fun right now? Because I've got to get to the car, you know. I've got a meeting in five minutes. So I don't shop that much anymore except for whatever the set decorator brings me to be like, here's what I'm presenting to you or here's what you were looking for or asking for. But when I was a set decorator-- because I tried to do every job-- I did do a lot of shopping. And I tell you what, what that did was made me the fastest shopper that you will ever be around. And my son is like-- I can't even believe it. I'll like, run in, just grab stuff, and you kind of have a sense-- you learn stores and things, so I already know what I want when I get in there. I don't have time to waste. But yeah, a lot of shopping. OK, I said shopping, but maybe we should call it "curating?" Curating, that's what I do. Now, that's what I do. Because you're selecting a bunch of stuff with an eye toward what's going to work together in the right combination at that moment. Exactly. And I guess I'm thinking about that-- trying to keep up with your slide presentation here-- to think about Lemonade. Lemonade! Yeah. And I guess-- The queen. The term "curation" comes to mind in this because this seems like a really complicated text. There are multiple directors. It's not a narrative so that it moves across these different sets. I only got to hear one song. Is that right? Yeah, I laughed about that just now, but it wasn't funny at the time. I was like, really? [laughter] A lot of security there. So one song. And I think it was "All Night" was the one, which is this video here. And yeah, that was a lot of switching gears. It was a lot of switching gears. You know, when you wanted to be a deconstruction of, like, a woman's feeling in a relationship that she's trying to hold onto, or fix, or heal, and then kind of do that healing within her own self as well and gain strength-- because, first, you're mad. Then, you want to kill everybody. And then, it's like, OK, can we work this out? [interposing voices] In the simplest of terms. So we needed to break that down while bringing in this aspect of black empowerment for black women, which I think is a very different thing than just black empowerment. I think female black empowerment is a very different thing because black women are oftentimes not heard and overlooked in this time and country-- well, always, but specifically, we're feeling it more now. So that was sort of what she wanted to get out there in a way to where you feel very small, to where you feel very powerful, and then use the canvas of 18th, 19th century plantation life. So in that sense, I always say Lemonade was a bit Afro-futurist in which we took a reality of the plantation in New Orleans, which was a place of oppression and, specifically for women, a place of rape, a place of great oppression, and turn it on its head by making a place of empowerment. So you see all these women at the dinner table that was just there. You see them in the dining room. You see them inside, and you see the matriarchs later in Lemonade, where you see the older women and sort of mixing this idea of very traditional, colonial construction with African textures, as far as, like, the fabrics and some of the things that we did. So we would take a lot of Victorian chairs and cover them in mud cloth, and wax cloth, and things of that nature to sort of mix the two in a sense. So that's what we were trying to do with that. So it was really all about this deconstruction and really getting it back. So there was no one thing that I needed to do as a designer, because there was no real structure, you know? And a lot of what I do, it's very nuanced in the fact that I think-- in architecture-- I'm sure we'll talk about this a little bit more, but very quickly, in architecture-- my father was an architect. My mother was an interior designer. So I've been around it my whole life, and it was always very oriented in the build, in the material and what wall is going up, and how it's going up, and the plans, and all the different plans. It was very much about that. I understand that, and that's what I do as well. However, I always speak of it in a frame of emotion less the hammer and nail of it. Yeah. Makes perfect sense why you would be the one to do Lemonade, which is all about sort of exteriorizing this internal, emotional landscape-- Yeah. --yeah, in so many different forms and bringing questions of race, and gender, and class into that. Absolutely, and class is a big one. And we filmed a lot. We filmed many more things than what you actually ended up seeing. Because she also wanted to delve into Katrina a little bit, which is-- that was-- it's still a little difficult because I went through Katrina, so that was a little bit hard to like, OK, we're going to make a water line. OK, crew-- you know, the New Orleans people. Because that was a big thing on Trem . And I'm kind of jumping off of me and going onto another show, but Trem , there was-- recreating Katrina, like right after Katrina-- and that's hard on the city again. But going back to Lemonade, yes, it was very much about the deconstruction. So I had to make it feel like every set was a deconstruction so you see-- in the parking garage, you see in the plantation, you see bits and pieces here and there, you see the porch, you see the little girl running out the front, you see the paper stage, which was sort of inspired by the old Victorian toy paper stages for very wealthy children would get these really intricate-- like paper dolls, when we were little, but they were houses, and stages, and things, and they were beautifully paint. And so I had that stage hand-painted. And again, it's reclaiming something, you know? You just touched on something that also seems really important in your practice, which has to do with what's visible and what's not visible. And I know we're looking at Wakanda. I know. I'm sorry. That came quick. That came a lot quicker than I think I even thought it was going to come. I'm like, these slides just last forever. And they're-- OK, sorry. But there's a really important part of your work that involves things that the audience never sees. I mean, you just mentioned there are things that get shot that don't end up in a finished product. But also, I mean, there are elements that you add to your sets that can motivate the actors to give them a sense of the space and how they can inhabit a character, just for the sake of doing it for them and not necessarily to be seen. Could you share some of those kinds of details? Absolutely, I do that all the time. It's so important for performances and for them to believe they're in the world that you're in, you know? OK, so we're looking at Black Panther. We're looking at it, like, boom it just got here. Since we're looking at Black Panther, that was going back and forth about, like, do we do the effects? Do we build? Do we do the effects? Do we build? And it was very important to Ryan and I that we built because we needed to create a tangible world. It wasn't going to work. It wasn't going to play unless it was tangible. And you could see the actors touching it and interacting with it. So I would put-- you know, you have drawers, and you have all kinds of things. So to build the world, it's like, I don't want them to go in, and then open things and nothing's there, because they're going to go through a discovery as well. And oftentimes, I'll get feedback from the actors that are like, that is so cool. And I'll do some things that I can't say. But there is a couple of funny things where it's like, oh, that's there. OK. You know, that, really, like, I didn't know-- exactly-- my character. That really helped me connect me to my character. So little things like in Tessa's apartment in Creed, let's say. She had a lot of little knick-knacks and stuff like that. And what I ended up doing with her assistant was calling and saying, send me some of her things, you know? Her personal things? Her personal things. So that was also on the set. So when she got there-- because she has a tattoo that says "yes" on her wrist, and that's a big sort of thing for her that goes deeper than just the word. So we had "yes" on her-- she has these little things in her apartment that are there. And her little knick-knacks were around, too. So when she walked in, the very first time before we were shooting to look at it, she was just blown away by that. And then creating that space and really-- and I actually worked with Tessa a lot on creating her space, but we added all of the-- we sat and wrote out music-- because she was supposed to be a musician-- and put it in there. So she opened it up. We had, like, mixed DVDs or CDs that she would have made. We got demo tapes from people that I knew because I know a lot of people that are musicians, so we could have them there. We had all of the equipment work so the weekend before we shot, Ryan, and Michael, and Tessa, and Ludwig, who's the music supervisor, spent the weekend in that apartment-- and just hanging out, and chillin', and playing music, and kind of-- like, what she would be doing if she lived in Philly as a musician at that time, and vibing, and getting to know her space. And they could do that. Ryan was like, yeah, it just felt like she lived here forever. And that's really the goal for those types of little things. There's probably more examples, but I can't think of them all right now because I'm really nervous. Those are great examples. OK, so Black Panther. Black Panther! I was in the grocery store the other day, and this woman was like, oh, I love your haircut. Did you get that after Wakanda? [laughter] I was like, no. [laughter] She didn't say, Black Panther. I had to take my glasses off for that one. It's like, I can't even. She didn't say the name of the movie. She didn't say-- She just said, "Wakanda." She said, "Wakanda." OK, look-- Wakanda is invoked as this incredibly profound idea for lots of people. I think you would agree. Absolutely. Did you have any idea that the role you would play in creating this sense of Wakanda, which was not a new fictional thing-- No, not at all. --but it has this life now that is astounding. And I wonder if you can just talk about if that's the kind of impact you wanted to have, are you surprised by just the resonance that it had. I was absolutely surprised. My expectations are always really high. But for this one, because it was this huge movie and this is my first time, my whole bar was, like, just, please, people, go. Go to it, and then don't really kill me in the critique of it. So you don't really know. It's almost like one of those things where when you look back at your life and you're like, that was really brave, or, that was really courageous of me that I just did that, at that time, you probably didn't feel brave or courageous at all, you know? And when I was doing this, I didn't know that at all. I was just doing what I do, and I was putting me in there, but I didn't really think, like, this is going to be more than what I have done on any other film, you know? I didn't feel that, necessarily-- really not until after the movie came out. And I started-- like, I'd get on Twitter, and there would be videos of people dancing in lobbies and dressed up-- and not just African, but anybody's heritage. They were dressing up in their ancestral clothing and celebrating who they are and where they came from. And it was just like, you're crying every day, and I'm calling Ryan, like, do you believe this? And he's like, I can't speak. And I'm like, I don't know what's-- He's like, I don't even know. We all kind of were like, we've got to hide. You're like, this is crazy. Like, we didn't expect anyone to react in this way. Because when we all went in there-- me, Ryan, and Rachel, and for all intents and purposes, we should have never been there-- or would have never been there had we not had people believe in us who actually could pull the trigger to have us there-- so Kevin Feige, Victoria Alonso, Lou D'Esposito, they're the ones that got us there. And then, we, in that sense, had something to prove-- or at least I did. And so I can't really speak for Rachel. Well, I can. Ryan I can't speak for. But Rachel and I, I mean, especially as females, especially as a black female-- and the first black female to do a superhero movie and a movie of that range and that size-- I had something to prove. So I went in, like, all right, I might die at the end of this, but I just gotta go at a thousand for 14 months, you know? And we did. We were on three continents. We had stages in Atlanta, and we were R&D in LA, , shot second unit in-- excuse me, in South Africa and second unit in London. Yeah. I had teams on all of those. And I went to all those places once for the initial scouting and all of that. But then, the teams went over, and then they did all of that. I did not go back. It was always just like, what time is it where you are now? It doesn't matter, just tell me what's going on. And so I kind of lost-- because I'm a talker. I'm a talker. The group I talked to earlier today, I was just all over the place. So sorry. I'm going to stay focused. I swear to God. No, it's going great. This is awesome. Let's talk about what you did, OK? Whoo! And since you're showing all of these really extraordinary-- Yeah, these are the illustrations of the great mound of all the different-- the bigger sets that we had-- all the built sets. It's just a huge range of topographies that had to be created for this. So in the interest of thinking about some of the questions about urbanism and how you were thinking about cityscapes, urban architecture, urban space, transportation systems, those kinds of things-- what were some of your guiding principles in the way that you and the whole creative team was putting together what this center of what Wakanda would look like? You know, Ryan really was our guiding light through all of this. And him being from Oakland, the town and the city, he has a real sense of what-- I grew up on a farm, so I was not brought up in a city. And he had a real sense of that urban feeling of being in a city as a young person and as an adult, because he still lives there. And he really wanted it to feel dense. But what I brought to it was-- you know, the golden city. So when you see the big cityscape, you want it to feel dense. You wanted it to feel like there's a lot of skyscrapers and high rises and that the city is really packed. Then, there's another feeling when you're on the ground. What I brought to it was a lot-- I thought a lot about the continent and all the different countries and did a lot of-- a ton of research. But one of the pieces of the research was all the different climates. How did those climates then effect-- and this will, eventually, come back to urbanism, I promise-- and how those climates-- how did the tribes, and the different peoples, and the different countries then deal with those climates in those environments? And a lot of Africa is about migrating. And not migrating because you're fleeing something or fleeing like horror, but because of the rainy season and the dry season. So you would go downstream during the rainy season, and then you would have your village there. And you also had to deal with the economics, in that, OK, we can catch more fish during this time here because we're going to be flooded out up there-- so the rebuilding. That's why I think pre-colonialism-- you don't see a lot of record of villages because they, in large, would be wiped out. When colonialism started, they stop this migration. You know, we're doing that for economic reasons. We're doing this for our community, right? And that's when, OK, now you're trapped. We're building borders. Because there weren't really borders before in sub-Saharan Africa. It wasn't really, like-- there were different tribal areas. And when they started putting up borders, it was like, oftentimes, two warring tribes were in the same area or two friendly tribes were now separated. So the whole economics of those countries then changed because of that. So that's what I was looking at and that we need to have all these different climate areas, all these different areas that show that, in Wakanda's sense, it wasn't colonized. That migration still happens. That was really important. And then the epicenter of that migration is Golden City, where it is, in essence, like an Oakland, or a San Francisco, a New York, where you have all the peoples from the tribes. Some of them, not all of them, are there. So we looked at it as a very metropolitan city in that sense. And that's why you get the mash-up. Because you asked me about that. And I was like, we'll talk about the mash-up. Because, again, that reflects back on African-American culture. And as an African-American, I innately brought some of my culture to this. It's like, when I'm sitting next to you or I'm sitting next to any black woman or black person, we're from different places, but we're not. So it's not necessarily just about the city or the diaspora. It's about the way that people tended to live before colonization. And that's what we wanted to do, but then add in the modernity of it, which is the way that it looks, and the transportation is so important to Ryan. He loves a train. I mean, I think there's a train in every one of his movies. Because that was one of the first things he said. He was like, what does the train look like? And I was like, train? OK, just give me a minute on the hyperloop. I'm still trying to figure out what the land looks like. Because I had to build the topography of the country before I could even start deciding, where is Golden City in this? And why is Golden City in that place? It's because it's where the palace is. So the palace would be someplace where you couldn't traverse to it. You couldn't cross a border to get to it, so you needed to surround it with mountains. That's why you have all the steps. That's why you have the tiered land, which was a really big part of the agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa that was wiped out during colonization. And largely, now, you only see tiered land like that for farming in Asian countries. But it was a huge part of African agriculture and farming. It's just not there anymore. And it's the best way, actually, too-- that's designing and building a way to have your water feed your land without actually having all of the technology to do it. Right, so that's where it was born from. But now, it's gone. So we needed to add that back. And so it was these things that was an important part. So I had to think about Golden City 10,000 years ago. They were farming on tiered land. That's why the tiered land is still in there, because the golden tribe was the first people to settle in Golden City, and they were farmers. Then, the next tribe that came was the merchant tribe. And I took sort of the history of the meatpacking district and the Native Americans for the merchant district in that there were cooling systems underground in New York. [inaudible] Yeah, that's the area. That's why you have the Meatpacking District, and why they sold things only at night. You don't really see that on screen, but Merchant District over time evolved into a more residential nightlife place, because it was always open at night. But the story goes sort of in the same direction as the Meatpacking District. So they were there second. When they started to realize that they can sell their goods around to the other tribes that were now existing in this area, they-- I completely made it up. I'm telling a story that isn't true. [laughs] I just realized, like, I'm going on like this with some real thing, and it absolutely what I made up. But that's incredible that you can fool yourself. I just totally fooled myself. Like, I am actually telling you some real, factual continent-of-Africa stuff. And it is not. That was weird for a second. I was like, whoa. Because I'm looking down here, like, right? You read this, clearly? He saw. He knows. The Merchant Tribe isn't a real thing. That's where my head goes all the time. But that's how deep we had to go. I had to understand, like, why Step Town existed. So you know, after that city-- I'm going to tell you a little bit more. I don't even care anymore. I'm just going do it. So after that city-- I'm going to tell you all this news nobody else knows. After the city starting to be built and the golden tribe became sort of the royal family and no longer was farming, the tiered landing started to be built. That's where we have Step Town. That's why it's called "Steps." And it's also called Step Town because that's where young artists come to get their experience. So they also take-- so when you see Step Town, you will see, like, a lot of Afropunk-looking people. And you have the lip plate, and you have-- [? andiboli ?] painting on one of the buildings, so there's some tradition. You have some Senegalese art work. You have the bride cooking. And then, you have like the hover bus going by. And then, you, kind of get a sense of the train, you know? These young artists are taking what their tribal traditions are, and they're just evolving into a new art form, a new tradition. The other traditions are still there. That's not denied. That's not destroyed. It's still used. Unlike us, we stick it in the building, and we call it, like, well, you pay $10 to go see the thing that we don't actually own, right? And yeah, I said that. I heard some groans over there, like, mm-hm. Look, I said it. I said what I said. Anyways, so yeah, so we wanted it to be still a part of the community. And those spaces then become these open spaces. I don't even know. I'm like, going out of control now. No, no, not at all. Because you're giving us a sense of how layered your thinking, and your research, and then the actual visual design has to be in order to give a sense. I think you're answering the question of why the idea of Wakanda resonates with people so strongly. It is. It's about community and family. Because it's not completely disconnected. Although, you could call it a fantasy space, there's so much about it that's tied to actual, historical, cultural, economic history that you guys have been tracing. Absolutely. Absolutely, that's what it is. It's about community. It's about family. It's about kids. It's about rituals, spirituality, the things that you don't see in normal, futurescapes, if you will. It's always, like, overpopulated, and too many buildings, and they can't all fit. It's Elysium, and then all the rich people are in the sky, and everybody else is like-- you know what I mean? Like, it's these horrible futures that we think, like, that will never bleed back into our reality. It's just entertainment, and it's fun. But it actually does bleed back into our reality. Where are black people in the future? There aren't any. I don't know how many aliens with elephant heads, but you will find one black person in Star Wars. And I think there were two Asian ladies. But how many camels with body parts-- you know what I mean? I'm looking this, like, he's a lobster, but you can't have more than one black person? OK, come on now. You know what I'm saying? That's what I'm saying. And it's not a hopeful future. It's like, well, what do you have to look forward to? And then how do people then look around their own worlds? Like, what's the point, you know? So now, it's time to put something different on screen. You put black excellence on screen. To put, you know-- [applause] In many different ways, you know? In many different ways. To put tradition back in the fold. To have evolved something and not just plunked it down because it looked cool, you know what I'm saying? To take a tradition and say, OK, how did that serve them through time? And what are we seeing of it now? You know, we did a timeline for Wakanda that started in the Bronze Age, and it went to the present day. So this timeline covered off where we were, all the points that we hit in the real Western world-- so industrialism, all the stuff, all the stuff. And then, I was like, OK, so now, let's all sit down and figure out what Wakanda was doing. So when did they have the internet superhighway? What were we doing? We were still figuring out how to get the Pony Express to California, and they had the internet. We had to figure out why they hadn't been hacked yet, because they don't work on a binary system. They have a completely different computer system. So we can't hack it. They can hack us, because they can mimic a binary system. But we don't know yet what their system-- I mean, I know, but you don't. I know what the system is. We're going to have Professor [? griffin ?] come on up and join us. I'm blah, blah, blah. Thank you all. We're going to keep talking. Oh, you're going to use the step. I don't even really want to come up anymore. No, come up. I'm just a blabber. I'm a talker. --a part of the audience. And I think I was just trying to figure out how to jump into-- Yeah, now, you start talking. Well, I could go in so many different directions, right? So one, I'm just completely fascinated by this constructed development history that you're walking us through that's related to economic and social trends that are going on and the city responds around it, which we all have. In the United States in particular, black narratives are very much tied to land. Yes. Right? And so you've now constructed that whole narrative for this place, Wakanda now that some people really believe, and some people are really kind of annoyed that people believe it, and you've mashed these things up. Yeah, yeah. That's great. So I have a two-part question, because I actually want to get Jacqueline's response to this, as you've looked through a catalog of black film, which is about the way in which you've seen the city show up as a vehicle for telling those narratives, right? So in the US, we get a lot of films and movies, and we're trying to tell those stories through a white space, right, and not through the ability of creating that. And you've been able to deconstruct that in Lemonade. It was deconstructed in Childish Gambino's video as well. So I'd like you to talk about how effective black storytelling and black film has been in using the American context to enable that story. And then, I want to come back to Wakanda and ask you about-- and constructing such a rich history. Who were your collaborators in building that story? So you are a story designer. Do you have real historians, real architects, real landscape-- real ecologists-- and "real" is not the right word. Other disciplines, how do they inform the way in which you create these histories and then ultimately create the environments that you do? Yeah, the figure of the city across African-American cinema has always been prominent, and the city has been a problematic space and, I think for the most part, a space in which people have attached great hopes, and those hopes have been dashed. So we can take this all the way back to the early race movies that were made for segregated audiences in the '20s, '30s, and '40s. People go to the city; that's where you become corrupt. That's where women lose their everything. And this is where families fall apart. And then even if we trace that through black independent cinema of the '60s, '70s. I'm thinking about the LA Rebellion Group, for example, Haile Gerima, Charles Burnett-- I mean, the city is a space of tremendous difficulty and oppression. People are subject to the city, and the struggle is how to find some agency, how to navigate the space in a way that makes you feel as though you can be a whole person and keep black community intact. And I think we see that through the Boyz n the Hood films, the police state, economic exploitation. So I just love the reel that you shared with us. And especially my favorite line in that film, a bunch of [? cosmocolonizers, ?] you know? Because I think that the historical processes of colonizing and decolonizing really help us to understand what you and your colleagues are doing. It has to do with decolonizing the cinematic imagination and really centering blackness in a way. Even in Moonlight, which you could see is like an abject story of a kind of abjectness. But still, there's a way in which there's a different relationship between black people and those urban spaces that suggest that there can still be intimacy or they can still be some kind of human connection. Which is a whole 'nother manipulation because you kind of have to take the Miami out of Miami in order for the black narrative to be told and for us not to be distracted by the Miami that's already in our head. So there is even an interesting manipulation that you do there, which is a constructive space taking a real space. You see little having to traverse this urban, sort of concrete crumbling, right in the beginning-- urban concrete jungle, where in some suburbs from like the '70s and '80s, where it was like, everything should be concrete. You know, you go out to some suburbs, and they've repurposed them into skate parks and these types of things. You go into urban areas, and it's just crumbled. And so he's running from these kids because of who he is through this [? scape, ?] pass the trouble, the drug dealers that are there to make money on the lives of others, and hides in a trap house, basically, and sees all the destruction. And he looks and he sees the needle, and the spoon, and the garbage, and he's hiding. And then, you have Juan come and take that board off and this light, pssh, comes through-- I'm a big sound-maker comes through and eliminates him. This is the person who is going to eliminate him within this construct of this urban-- what some would call an urban nightmare in a way. Right. And is the yellow we see through moonlight supposed to remind us of the illuminating of-- Of Juan? Of Juan. Yeah, there's definitely specifically, yes. There's the yellow, and the blue, which is he's in the blue car. That is him. The water-- it's that lightness. It's that-- sort of when you think of the sky. It's when you look up and you think of, like, the universe, or God, or whatever it is you think of when you look up at that the thing that's so much bigger than you. To Little, that's what he was. When that light came through it, it could have been an angel. It could have been God to him, you know? So we kept him in that area. Now as Juan is bringing Little into his home for the first time, the home is this soft pastel pink. Because that was in Miami-- the teal and the pink, you know? That's very Miami without being Birdcage, right? You know? But then you see it's getting painted over. And as Chiron comes to us in a place of being in the [? poke ?] & Beans in Liberty City projects, which is one of the hardest projects, they're now tearing them down in the United States. I think they've filmed over 75 episodes of First 48 there, if that gives you any idea of that. And that's exploitation, as well. So I'll just say that. So as he becomes Chiron and the second time you see her talking to him, he won't speak. Paula is now full-on immersed in crack. Juan's house is white. Because now, that safety, that warmness of Miami has turned into this city. He is in the school that's built on a prison plan. Because that's what we do. We build schools off of the plans of prisons, and we just add classrooms. So that's really how that goes. Right, I want to loop that back to collaboration a little bit. So one of my favorite images here was that you actually had a plan of the city, with like districts, the center [? of ?] [? the ?] [? city ?] is like, the university. It was fantastic. I would love to unpack your process a little bit more in terms of-- I know you immerse yourself in your own research and with the rest of the filmmaking team, but do you look outside of your sector and your discipline to build that body of research, particularly for such a richly developed place that does not exist? And I'm sure some people-- I'm glad you reminded them that this was not-- I had to remind myself. I was like, what am I talking about people. People will go home for dinner and talk about Yeah, this woman thought she was from Wakanda. It was strange. So tell us about who you collaborate with, how your collaboration process works. Oh, we collaborate with a lot of people. So we brought in architects, futurist architects who-- we brought in a couple of people who are working on designing Google City, that will maybe show up in the West Coast at some point, and talk to her about what that is. Like, is that? This is a completely technological city. So we sat down and we talked with her, and she sort of told us about how they plan to make it more of a communal place with shared yards-- all transportation is underground. All the technology is behind walls. There's a shared currency. Once you cross into this city-- they're basically building it so you would never have to leave. So everything you need is here. And she's telling me this and telling me this, and I'm a bit stubborn-- couldn't tell-- and outspoken a little bit. And she's telling me this, and I'm soaking it in, because I want to understand what is someone like Google think the future should look like. And as she's talking to me and I said, well, who lives here? Because what you're saying to me, I can't even afford. So who's living here? You know? All of a sudden, I see the big circle in the sky and Matt Damon, like, I'm coming, you know? [laughter] Right? And she really kind of looked at me and Ryan. And she was, like, well, you know, you would need to be-- clearly, you'd have to have money to live there. Well, that's not useful to me, you know? So mute on that. [laughter] You know, that's where my stubbornness comes in. Because then, I don't want your idea. I don't want to be inspired by something that's only for a few. Like, that's not what we're doing here. So thank you for the information, but that's not the information I'm looking for here, you know? But we did then talk to experts who were in anthropology, geology experts we brought in just to talk about vibranium, which is the fake metal that Cap's shield is made out of. Because I had to be an expert in metallurgy at one point because I had to figure out, how do you mine vibranium without exploding Wakanda or the earth, for that matter. I had to figure out how does that much vibranium that's that elemental and, you know, get through the atmosphere with, again, not blowing up the earth? So we had to talk to a lot of biologists, nanotechnologies I talked to. So I brought in a bunch of people-- a lot about the science and the math, because I was never good at that. But then a big part of it was my dad's voice-- right here, the architect, the perfectionist saying, you need to know what the land looks like, Hannah, before you can build anything. Because he would always say that to me. Like, I'd be like draw me a house. And he's like, I don't know what the land looks like. I can't draw-- [laughter] So I don't know if that's a lazy thing. I'm going to have to talk to some architects here. Like, was he just, like, really messing with me on that one? He just didn't want to draw me a house? Or is that real? But I took it as real, whether it was or wasn't. And so I realized I needed to understand the land. So we brought in specialists about that as well, like the different climates in Africa was one that we-- So even your description of the development history that you had-- the construct and then the representation of that-- and I'm so excited to go back and actually watch the movie now hearing you. Because what I went to look for is how I see the evolution of the city through different scenes, right? So you go into any urban environment, and you can tell the history of the city by what is no longer there, what remnants are there, what's new, and then you begin the overlay the socioeconomic story and histories. And sometimes those histories are erased. Some I'm kind of now curious to go back and look at these landscapes you've created and see if I can trace the story you've showed us through what we see. Because some of it looks a bit even, even though the environments are different. I can't really tell class. I read an interesting article where someone critiqued the film for not showing poverty. And then the writer went on to say, well, why would you want to see poverty in Wakanda? It's Wakanda. But there was a debate about, what is society like? And how does the built environment represent those forms to society, so I'm really kind of curious to look back through that. And you and I on our phone call the other day talked a little bit about, I have a handful of African friends who are architects. And when Wakanda first came out, I was like, it was so great! Aren't you excited? I'm like, eh. And not because I didn't like it, but it's the mash-up. They were very conflicted by the way in which all these different cultures of Africa, the continent that is represented by many countries which are virtually distinct, seemed to be seamlessly kind of mished, and mashed, and swirling around. And they were really challenged by that. And my interpretation of that was that, because most of the world is, quite frankly, really not very well-informed about the continent, the culture, what's progressive, what's metropolitan, what's rural, just its history overall, that Wakanda was creating this false narrative, and now people are going to go off in the world and think Africa is like this and still not understand the texture of it. And I sort of said, well, let's put that on the table and have you educate folks about it. And I think you've done that, even through this constructed narrative. So where I'd like to maybe take the conversation in my last few minutes before we hand it over is, there is a conviction you have to have as the designer, the person visioning this, to withstand this critique-- to [? a ?] [? standard ?] as a woman who is leading that version, a black woman who is leading that vision, and all of these forces that come at you, not just on this film, but probably every film and in every aspect of your life. We were talking about the fact that there are 105,000 architects in this country, and only 440 are black women. And I'm sure the same exist in you all's fields. So tell our students a little bit about what it took of you to hold true to your vision for Wakanda and all the other films that you've created. Where do you show up in defending-- That's a thing for me. You know, I stand by what I do. And that's why I always say to people-- like, when I'm working with my crew, I was like, I'll fall on my sword. I'll fall on my sword for you. I'm not falling on anybody else's sword. And if somebody brings me, like, OK, I think this piece would work really well here and duh-duh-duh-duh, and I'm like, yes, I see it, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We go, and we do what we need to do. I stand by that. And that's all I can do, you know? I'm a failure if I don't learn from criticism. I'm not a failure because something didn't work. I'm a failure because I didn't learn from it, you know? So I tend to want to take a lesson from what people are saying to me about things. You know, when it gets crazy and weird, it's like, I'm-- mute. But when it's constructive criticism, that's important to hear as well. And there were many reasons why-- that one, I hadn't heard. That was interesting about the mashup, and it was confusing. And part of my thought about that. My response to that would be if the concern is that, no, we don't know enough about the continent, or a lot of people don't know enough about the continent to really say, and then they'll see this and be like, oh, yeah, they got like, whatever. And honestly, I'd rather them misconstrue it this way than what I grew up with for 48 years, personally. I would rather have a child sit in a classroom and have someone be like, well, in Wakanda, it's awesome, instead of them mispronouncing the country of Niger because I'm the only black person in the room at seven. Because that was painful. You know what I mean? I think that's a big difference between African and African-American. And I don't really see myself being either one. I always place myself in the hyphen, you know? And that's where I am right now. So this view is my view as a little black girl in a predominantly white community growing up in the country in Ohio and how I felt when people said things to me about Africa, all the hurtful, derogatory things that you hear as a kid. Like, all Africans are uncivilized. Well, I mean, our president called it a shithole, basically. So that's not a shithole. Let's just be clear. I don't know if I can curse here. Yes. You know, and I'm always really weird about that. I cuss a lot. But I was like, I'm trying to keep it-- but, you know what I mean? So that's sort of my response is that if this is creating some kind of new narrative, then because this was created from love, from hope, from joy, from what our future can be, from putting something positive from black excellence, I would rather someone try to say, like, something about that. With that said, that's just sort of like, OK, I can't get mad at that, right? I detect no lies. But I feel like I understand what they're saying because it was a concern for me as well. Yeah. It really was. So let me tie one more thread before we hand it over, which is, you said, this is my vision as a little black girl. This is how I want people to see it. So we are each little black girls from segregated cities in the Midwest. So maybe I can end my curiosity by asking each of you to talk about-- Hannah, maybe for you, how you know the female perspective or the feminine city shows up in your work. How does the feminine story show up? You know, you've been looking at a breadth of black films. Where is the feminine story? How are you seeing it show up in your work? And then at dinner, I can tell you how it shows up in mine. But this is about you all. [laughs] --my work, well, a couple of things are coming to mind. You know, one of the things that we talked about a lot when we were looking at Lemonade, we being black feminist media scholars were the resonances between it and Julie Dash's work, especially her film Daughters of the Dust, which is not set in an urban environment, but is about the prospect of going to the city and what you try to hold onto before going. And so there are some really interesting ways, I think, that across your work, especially, I can see a lot of resonances with the kinds of questions that black feminism has been trying to address for a long time about making space about creating a sense of community, about honoring the intimate and recognizing how the personal impacts our ability to do political work and those kinds of things. So I just see you firmly in that line of people that we normally have focus on directors, and we haven't looked at the maybe small number of women of color, but incredibly powerful, creative, important women who have been doing work that sustains the same kind of idea over time. And then one thing you mentioned when you read my bio before I could cut you off was a project that I direct collecting home movies shot by people on the south side of Chicago, mostly by, like, dads and uncles, but the films that we had that are shot by women, again, are doing exactly what you do. Like, these are the people who are paying attention to the food and paying attention to, like, the child's play, and paying attention to home decor in different ways. The settings that enable life to take place versus just the setting? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. It's exactly that, you know? And I was very lucky on something like Panther. I think for most of my projects and, specifically, working with Ryan, who I always considered a feminist himself, you know? He has a sense of intimacy which-- and a sense of place within an interior, you know? A sense of what you were saying, the detail to the children, to the family, to that-- that's always very important to him as is the transportation in the city itself. So in that sense, yes, I see there being a sense of black feminism, you know, in that sense. I feel like a lot of what I do also comes-- because I would say, as a black woman-- I talked about this a little earlier today that when I work, I always have to be in this position. Now, I've got a be forward. I have to be up. I have to be shouldering everything at all times. As a black woman in this industry, you can't ever do this. Because the minute you do that, then you're seen as weak, vulnerable, not maybe useful. Or you recede. You become invisible. Yes, exactly. And in the weakness, then, you're able to be controlled. I'm a Leo, so that's just not a thing, right? But you do find yourself getting weak of that, of this, of constantly, it's exhausting, you know? So in that sense, I think that's in my work, this sense of constant female strain, especially with black women. You know, with Lemonade, of course, I was with the queen, so-- excuse me, I was with the queen. And again, I worked with her in Jamaica just recently for all her-- all the interludes in OTR 2. And it was this same-- but it was a little more nurturing in that sense, and it was a little more sexy as well. And I'll go there, and I'll say that. Because I mean, all her stuff was sexy. But in a way, it was more-- because we did a lot of stuff with dancehall, and it was like, you know, black women being able to own that femininity of being sexy and not being, like, you know, child bearing, or overwrought-- like, the things that were-- the tropes that we're presented with, but soft and feminine, because you don't really get that, you know? I say that to people all the time. Like, sometimes I just want to be vulnerable. Sometimes I don't want to be the one that has to take care of everything constantly. And I try to create that in the spaces where they're strong-- a strong sense of women, like, in the throne room in Black Panther, you know? It was like, OK, we talked about, like, whoa, there's going to be all these kings guard men in there, and then we're going to have the door of Malaysia in there, and then we're going to have the council in there, and where does everybody stand? Well, they stand on top. The women stand on top. And if you notice, the king's guard is down and sort of out of the way in the circle, the circle of life, and you have the women on top, on that top level, with the giant 10-foot mud murals behind them that represent their tribes. Because, in that sense, it's the matriarch. So I was always doing [inaudible].. There's actually one funny story, and I hope I don't offend anybody. I'm, like, whispering. So when we went to present all the-- I think it was second phase or third phase round of designs and I had just kind of gotten to a place with the palace that I really was like, this is it, you know? Like, I feel like I'm gonna show just to Ryan and everybody, and they're going to love it and everything. And so I show them this, and I don't know how much you see in the movie, and I don't even know-- [inaudible] tell the story. But the front door of the place-- he was like, well, doesn't that look-- what does that look like? And I was like, what are you talking about? He's like this giant. And he was supposed to be, like, 80 feet tall, like eight stories of this. He's like, it looks like a woman part, you know? And I was like, well, I'm a woman. I was like, then maybe that's-- we're so used to seeing all these, like, very male, tall structures, and I'm like, well, now, this is what you got. And I said that to everybody in the room. I was like, you know, yeah, right? That's what it is. That's what it is. That's my center of power. I gave life, and he's 20, and he's getting me lunch. So you know what I mean? Like, that's my sense of power. Like, why wouldn't that subconsciously show itself some place, just like all these movies that you look at and designs of cities. Of course that has to do with what we consider-- So everybody has a new watch list for the weekend? I am telling you, somebody is going to come after me in Marvel and be like, what are you saying about these things? And I'll be like-- well, it was funniest thing because I never changed it. And every time I see it, I'm just like, ugh. Oh, there it is! Have a fabulous laugh about it. We arrived! Yeah. So we have a little bit of time for some questions, emphasis on questions. So there are a few people who are going to be walking around with a microphone. Don't try to grab the mike. You will be unsuccessful. But we would love to be able to take some questions for Jacqueline and Hannah from the audience. So the mics are on the side. Raise your hand. Maybe we can turn the lights up, just a little bit, and we can see who's asking. So introduce yourself, your name, your program, and don't give her the mic because she'll keep it forever. Why don't you stand up, Chandra, and ask your question? Hi, again. I'm Chandra, a second year urban planning student. I have a question for both of you. So for Jackie, I wanted to go back to your comment about decolonizing the cinematic imagination, if you could talk more about how your scholarship looks at that. And then for Hannah, I was wondering about in terms of what you talked about transforming the Lemonade production set from a place of oppression to a place of empowerment, why you chose to think about that transformation versus just creating a new place as opposed to placing them within like the plantation context. Sure, one thing I do-- thanks for the question, Chandra. One way, I guess, I try to get at that issue is to look at spectatorship quite a bit-- black spectatorship. As much as I'm interested in what filmmakers do and what's put on the screen, I think that's part of what happens in the exchange. There's so much that happens at the point of reception. There's a loop, actually, where meaning is being constructed. So this is one of the reasons why Black Panther is such an important-- another reason why it's such an important film. You alluded to this-- the fact that people were turning out dressed Wakandan. I did an outdoor screening of Black Panther this summer, and we had, like, a costume contest. And I thought it was kind of like, oh, maybe two or three people, nah. [interposing voices] --yeah, everybody. So the ways in which African-Americans have figured out how to find pleasure, even with films that were not designed to provide any kind of entree for them at all, just to find those small moments or to connect-- to be able to appreciate what a maid is doing in a film, in a classical Hollywood film, or to somehow make the narrative work for their own purposes, I think is tremendously creative. And that's a really important way that I can see a kind of decolonizing happen despite what the text might be originating in itself, yeah. [inaudible] have to tell me your question. I can hear you. I was wondering in the [audio out] --the place of empowerment versus just creating a whole new landscape for that set. You know, well, and here's another thing. When the artist is telling you what they want to do, you have to figure out a way to do it. And it was really important for her to be on that plantation. So while if it was just like completely do whatever you want-- because there was a lot of leeway she gave me to just do whatever. There was, like, OK, she wants to be in these plantations. It was very important for her to take that ownership back, especially in a place like New Orleans, where I'm from, and probably also speaks to why a lot of my work is the way it is. But that's, yeah. So that's why we did it that way, really, necessarily. But yeah, it could have been an entirely new place. I think, then, it would become something different. Because the feeling of what she was trying to convey is not new. How she handles that feeling is new, right? So that's how we learn. That's how we evolve. We're faced with the same stuff over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. It's how we decide to handle it each and every time. If we do the same thing each and every time, then, we're probably insane. But if we learn, then we can do it a different way. And that's where I think she was actually coming from. What I wanted to do was create a place, a sort of a free-thinking place. Again, we shot a lot that you didn't see, because we had done all of this sort of educational side of it, where these women that lived in this plantation were learning to shoot guns. They were learning to-- archery. They were doing all these different things that was their day. And then, they all had the duties in the kitchen-- we used a real slave kitchen because this was on Destrehan Plantation. We used two plantations; Destrehan was the main one. And so that's some of the things we did. So that was the overall thing. When it was edited, a lot of that was edited out. But I think you still got the feeling of the women in the garden and that. So she's very smart about that. And I mean, she knows herself well enough to know that she's had that feeling before. And now, this is how she's going to take charge of that and take power of it. And I think that's what that was. Other questions? Way in the back there in the gray sweater. Yes? Young man right there. Hi, my name is Lafayette, I'm a second-year Master in City Planning student at MIT, I had a question about the insertion of the humanity of people of color, both in the histories that you constructed, but then the resulting features. I think of particularly like with Lemonade and how inserting-- I feel like when we talk about plantations, we often ignore the flames. They're just kind of background people, and their humanity's not there, but you inserted women of color there and created this powered [? ethnofuture. ?] And then in Wakanda, we often think of Africa as this colonizied place or this untamed place, but you inserted humanity and history. So I was just wondering how-- like, how you do that? Because in general, futurists and media, we don't see humanity in people of color in the past or in the future. [inaudible] well, I do it because I'm black. [laughter] And I'm human. So I put those two things together. I'm a smartass. I'm sorry. I'm so silly, and I can't help myself. And maybe that's why Ryan keeps me around, because I keep the laughter coming in between all the stress and crying. But yeah, Lemonade, having people of color be in the front-- or black people, because people of color to me are people of color, but black people-- you know, that sounded weird. He's like, OK. [laughs] I mean, that was a very important thing. That was part of a taking back. In a way, that felt more useful than some of the language that we used to say we're taking it back, you know what I'm saying? That's why that's in the forefront, you know? And it was a lot about the matriarchy and not the patriarchy. It was a lot about generations of women and what we see from generation to generation in Lemonade. In Wakanda-- that was [inaudible],, but in Wakanda-- I mean, again, a fictional, African nation-- and by where we set it-- OK, so, it's actually placed above Burundi. We kind of fudged it a little bit and scooched it a little closer to the DRC and added Lake Kivu, like we moved Lake Kivu down a little because we wanted it to be on the border of the Impenetrable Forest, so we did a little bit of [? training ?] [? around ?] [? that ?] [? one. ?] No big deal, right? We just moved some stuff. But after we placed it there, I started looking at all the surrounding countries of who would have then migrated to this one little spot 10,000 years ago. And it's mostly sub-Saharan. When we see Africa, it's either Tarzan or Egypt. And in Egypt, the dark-skinned people are the bad people or the slaves, you know? And if it's Tarzan, it's the help, you know? Black people or the help. So again, I think Wakanda is just another form of destroying a narrative of what-- or giving humanity. Like Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station. It was like, I'm going to give him his humanity. Like, he's a son and a father. So that's been played out in my work, and it continues to go into my work is, giving people their humanity. Because then, you can't look away. Then, you can't just, like, walk out of the theater and be like, whatever, you know what I mean? You have to sort of think about it a little more. It's more present. Where it's like, oh, OK, these are people as well. I don't know if I answered that very well, but that's what I got. Was there a question over here, too? Yeah, so my name is Kofe, a second-year architecture student. I just wanted to say that I'm African. I grew up in Africa. I was born there. And on the issue of depictions, I see a lot of depictions of Africa that as somebody that is African that grew up in Africa is totally alien to me. I cannot relate to it. So I just wanted to say that there are fictions out there anyway about Africa that are totally different from the reality of it. I love this fiction. It's something we can have a conversation about, and it's so inspiring. I talk to a lot of friends that still live back home, and they absolutely love it, so I just wanted to say that. Thank you. Thank you. You know, the environment or-- what I noticed in Africa when I went there was-- or in South Africa-- I was in South Africa-- was that there is no camera. There is no thing that has been invented that can replicate what you see with your eyes [inaudible].. So it was like, we're not going to try to do that. We're not trying to replicate this vastness and this beauty on camera. We can only, again, capture an essence and a feeling of what I felt when I was there, which was a sense of joy, which was a sense of pride in who your tribe, [inaudible] or Zulu. Because there was a lot of [inaudible] people that were our guides and that were really talking to us about the history, about the Afrikan history and what that did, about colonization, about apartheid, and what that did to the farmers in all the land grab, right? So yeah, I was like, I'm never going to be able to fit thousands of languages and thousands of tribes and cultures from this ginormous-- I mean, it's like 18 hours to fly around the continent. It's insane. It's huge. That's not a possibility. And had I tried to do that, that would have just been an absolute failure. So what I needed to do is capture all the things that I saw, like, women walking down the street, and they had these great, colorful skirts on with these great colorful socks that came all the way up, and these great-- the way the babies were being held with a cloth around with their little legs peeping out [kissing sound] right here. You know, you just wanted to grab them and kiss them. And the smiles and the joy-- like, watching the kids when we would go to a township playing soccer, and kicking it over the edge and then having an argument about who is going to get it, and coming up to me and saying, yeah, boo, and all of that. That's the essence. I needed to capture when I went to the [inaudible] place and techno music came on. I was, like techno? We're doing this, you know? And watching little kids dance, and eating the food-- I could only do as much to capture the smell, and the texture, and the essence of everything that I saw there. I was never going to recreate it, and I was never going to just recreate one thing of it. But just really quickly, it just seems like that's a really valuable aspect of what you're doing. It's not about all fiction being bad, nor is it that your research has to be so exhaustive that you get every particular detail right and include it all. It just seems like there's some lessons there in terms of thinking about the implications for something like design, right? Like, if you think of Wakanda more as a kind of like design fiction, where you get to play out some different possibilities, rather than something that's accurately documenting or trying to be true to a variety of disciplines or something like that, then that honors the creative work that you're doing. That can also animate all of the work that we try to do. And you know, it speaks a little to gentrification. Because it's like, why can't we go to-- so, you know, like, everybody's talking about the mash-up, right? And I was talking about the migration. So are they just supposed to give up the way they know to build? The way they know to create and craft? Because now, there's like two other tribes around them? It's like, oh, well, we're not going to do that anymore. We're going to create something completely new out of it. No, I think part of that is allowing there to be a space for you in your culture and your tradition. And how does the creation of that space evolve as other migrants and other histories sort of usurp it. And just as an essence, informs your work. A set of values informs your work. And so I think the translation, for us as designers, is, you know, what are the values we think we're bringing to design? And not just a technocratic approach to that. And then how does that then translate and respond to the context. So we have one last question from a student. I'd like that to be the last question for tonight. Thank you. So stand up; tell us who you are. Hello, my name is Ashley. I'm a second year at the Divinity School here. And so, actually, I'm in a class with Professor [inaudible] about African religions, and he mentions their spirituality. And we were in a discussion about how that plays in the film. So I was wondering how indigenous African religions actually are present in set design in your concept of designing the film-- if that played a role at all. You know, it does in a sense. Again, there's a lot of stuff that's not seen. Had we done it all-- you know, we filmed a lot-- there was hours of film, right? And the first cut of Black Panther was close to five hours because-- you know, everything's gotta go in. I was happy with it. It looked fabulous. But it's like, who's sitting for five hours, you what I mean? Like, it's fun, but calm down, right? It's like, level up, pull up. A lot of that spirituality was surrounded in the City of the Dead. And it really got cut down a little bit, so that was-- you know, it's still great, and there's a lot of-- Ryans sensibility about how he as a director because he's in and out of scenes pretty quickly. You'll notice the pacing of his films are really quick. I think, more than anything, in Wakanda, he spent a little bit more on time on sort of the settings and stuff. But it's really what people-- it's their environments and canvas. So that part of it-- you know, there was this whole idea of how the vibranium was discovered in the first place. And we really went towards a religious and spiritual way that that was discovered by the monks. That was really inspired to me by [inaudible].. I don't know if anybody has seen that film, but [inaudible] is fabulous. And that was what that inspiration was, but it was a whole thing about how they discovered this-- and using-- even in some Asian traditions of low vocals in African traditions. So since vibranium is sensitive to energy, sounds, like anything, when our Wakandan and monk started in a meditation of low vocalization, they noticed that the vibranium was becoming brighter, and it was heating up. Then, they realized that when they were-- and a lot of African tribes bury; but in Wakanda, they do both. They bury and burn the dead. So that's one way that they would bury their dead is to lay out the vibranium rocks. They didn't know what it was. And then, they would all gather around in a circle, and they would do a low vocalization that would then heat up the rocks and burn the body. That's how they found fire in Wakanda, tens of thousands of years before any Western nation. That's part of their advancement. So through that spirituality and through that religion, they had advanced themselves. Unfortunately, that didn't end up on the screen. But maybe in Black Panther 2-- ba-da-ba, see you tomorrow. [laughter, cheers] And on that note, Hannah, Jacqueline, thank you very much. [applause]


Life and career

Cullom was born in 1829 in Monticello, Kentucky. He moved with his family a year later to Tazewell County, Illinois. During his youth, Cullom assisted his father with farm labor. Cullom attended the Mount Morris Seminary for two years and became a teacher. Under influence from his father's Whig beliefs, Cullom became interested in politics. He moved to Springfield, Illinois in 1853, where he studied law with Stuart & Edwards and was admitted to the bar in 1855.[1] He practiced law in Springfield with Charles S. Zane, and was elected city attorney in 1855.

Cullom was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives as a Whig in 1856, serving one term. With the disintegration of the Whig party, Cullom identified with both the Republican and the American parties. He was a candidate for elector on the American party ticket during the 1856 election. In 1860, he was re-elected to the Illinois House as a Republican, serving as Speaker in 1861.[1]

Julia Fisher
Julia Fisher

In 1863 he married Julia Fisher, of Springfield, Illinois, who helped Senator Cullom in his political career.[2]

He was elected in 1864 to the Thirty-ninth, and reelected to the Fortieth and Forty-first Congresses (March 4, 1865 – March 3, 1871). Cullom returned to the Illinois House from 1873 to 1874, serving again as Speaker.[1] In 1876, he was elected Governor of Illinois, defeating Lewis Steward by 6,834 votes. He was re-elected in 1880, becoming the first Illinois governor to be re-elected after a four-year term.[3] Under Cullom's governorship, the Southern Illinois Penitentiary was commissioned, the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 was quelled, the Illinois Appellate Court was founded, and the Illinois State Board of Health was established.[4] He resigned in 1883 to take office as a US senator; Lieutenant Governor John Marshall Hamilton assumed the governorship in his place. Cullom was elected to the United States Senate in 1882, and reelected in 1888, 1894, 1900 and 1906, serving from March 4, 1883 to March 3, 1913.

As a Senator, Cullom oversaw the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887. He believed that only the federal government had the power to force railroads to provide fair treatment to all of its customers, large and small. This was because corporations, such as Standard Oil, had corrupted many of the railroad's officials into providing them with rebates, and as a whole, the companies in question were more powerful than any state government.

Cullum had an interest in the territories of the United States of the time. Together with Congressman Isaac S. Struble, Cullom pushed the Cullom-Struble Bill, whose sanctions against polygamy included exclusion of the Utah Territory from statehood. The bill was on the verge of passing Congress in 1890, but the legislation was preempted when The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) formally disavowed polygamous marriages with the 1890 Manifesto. Cullom was appointed by President William McKinley in July 1898 to the commission created by the Newlands Resolution to establish government in the Territory of Hawaii.

He died in 1914 in Washington, D.C. and is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. Cullom was a close personal friend and associate of Jacob Bunn and John Whitfield Bunn, the Illinois industrialist brothers who contributed to the building of hundreds of millions of dollars of business enterprises by 1900. The village of Cullom, Illinois[5] is named in his honor.


  1. ^ a b c Davidson & Stuvé 1884, p. 968.
  2. ^ Hinman, Ida (1895). The Washington Sketch Book.
  3. ^ Davidson & Stuvé 1884, p. 969.
  4. ^ Davidson & Stuvé 1884, p. 972–979.
  5. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 97.
  • Davidson, Alexander; Stuvé, Bernard (1884). A Complete History of Illinois from 1673 to 1884. Springfield, IL: H. W. Rokker.

Further reading

External links

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
John T. Stuart
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Illinois's 8th congressional district

Succeeded by
James Robinson
Political offices
Preceded by
John Lourie Beveridge
Governor of Illinois
Succeeded by
John Marshall Hamilton
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
David Davis
Class 2 U.S. Senator from Illinois
Succeeded by
James H. Lewis
Honorary titles
Preceded by
William P. Frye
Dean of the United States Senate
August 8, 1911 – March 3, 1913
Succeeded by
Jacob Harold Gallinger
This page was last edited on 6 August 2019, at 18:58
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