Preface: A brief History Of No-one from Nowhere
Growing up as an African American male in the United States most of my identity pre-determined by societal views. As young child my mother was determined to not let me be bound by other views of me and to create my own path and identity. Which led to the me feeling as if I was apart of not one culture or singular identity but adopting many different identities and remixing it to my liking. I've always felt as if I was from nowhere hence the name of this blog and the way I sort of "brand" myself as "mylesfromnowhere".
The internet is a liberating place for a kid from "nowhere". It is a vast oasis of media where you can really be anyone and research anything and find things that fit directly to your liking. With the invention of apps like Tumblr you can literally build an identity of yourself through pictures and videos. It was rather difficult for me to narrow down one singular image and video to represent my identity. After hours of searching and mostly procrastinating , I chose to highlight the part of my identity which is most prevalent in my life currently.
The Young Black Filmmaker
For the video portion I chose the short fashion film "Music is my Mistress" by Khalil Joseph for KENZO SS17. Khalil Joseph is most notably known for his work on Beyonce's Lemonade short film.
"Music is my Mistress" is a non-linear artful journey that takes you to a familiar yet unfamiliar place. I feel as though I identify with this piece in so many different ways. The first being that it was made by a black director featuring an all black cast. One of my favorite parts of the short is the opening credits where an MPAA ratings screen warns the film of being rated 'R' for, "strong language and overt blackness throughout". He sets the film up right at the start by declaring his identity and not apologizing for it. Something I recently learned to accept and be proud of. Khalil pays homage to certain African themes and culture through the visuals embracing the roots of a culture we share.
The title of the film paints the picture of music being a mistress not only to the characters in the film but I believe is a commentary on the director himself. Most of the films he makes are either centered around an artist and their music or feature music prominently. In my eyes the film is an ode to a huge part of his identity that helps shape the art he chooses to create. The film features music from his good friend Shabazz Palaces as well as Kelsey Lu. Like Joseph music is a huge part of my life and my identity I too also find most of my inspiration for the films I make from music. Another highlight in the film is a scene when one of the characters asks another whom their favorite filmmaker is, to which he replies the brilliant jazz artist Miles Davis whom I was also named after. This little moment just resonates with me so much its hard to even explain. To Khalil, Miles Davis' music paints vivid pictures in his mind great enough to classify him as filmmaker.
The way he uses text and the way the visuals clash and contrast each other align with the way I make films as well.
For the image I couldn't simply choose one picture that I felt I identify with. So I put together a collage of images that I feel express parts of my identity to create one large image.