A few months ago, For the People Artists Collective welcomed Chicago-based videographer and activist Serena Hodges to our artists’ network! Learn a little bit about how Serena uses their camera as a tool for social change below in our first 1-on-1 interview with them!
Leo, but my moon is in Cancer
Who do you organize with?
I’m part of Desi Youth Rising, and I organize with friends!
Who do you make art for? Who’s your intended audience?
Anyone who’s struggling with their racial or gender identity. I think at the end of the day for everyone really, but first and foremost, putting the people who I share space with and who I have deep relationships with are first. I create with them in mind.
What inspired you to start creating movement art?
I don’t know if there was an exact moment, or if it’s always been this way. I’ve always used film as a way to explore issues that are important to me. Finding a way to creatively show how I’m feeling was a really important catalyst moment. Being able to see a product that I created made me continue to want to create. The importance of visual documentation, as movement builders, is to be telling the story ourselves.
Why did you join FTP?
It’s a really cool crew! I can already tell that everyone is super supportive and I can see myself learing a lot about what it means to be an artist. It’s still a question I’m trying to answer. I also just want to build with more folks of color and gender non-conforming people outside of my own community.
What projects are you currently working on?
Im working on a documentary series where I’m following some activists and artists. It’s focused on their coming of age, but not in the conventional way, because that film theme is very white-washed. I think there are a lot of movies out there with certain themes such as the transition to adulthood that are intended to be really relatable, but the people that don’t look like me, or sound like me, so i want to attempt to make those “relatable” themes actually relatable.
How do you see art & activism as integral to each other?
I think something that I’m actively trying to do this year is respect the process. Art and activism are this constant process that goes like this *waves hands*. I think in some ways that art is organizing, art is also a way to process organizing. In some ways, it complements.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Shoutout to my mom!