PROJECTS : Winter In America

5 minutes

WINTER IN AMERICA is a collaboration between Hank Willis Thomas and Kambui Olujimi based on the events leading up to the murder of Songha Thomas Willis on February 2, 2000 outside Club Evolutions in Philadelphia, PA. The story is derived from an interview with Todd Rose, the main eye-witness to the crime, and notes taken by Leslie Willis, the victim’s mother, during the ensuing murder trial. The stop-motion film technique is employed to animate the G.I. Joe action figures the artists once used to create similar narratives in during childhood. The packaging for the action figures reads, “for children ages 5+.” Among the many elements the artists intend to highlight with this project is the breeding of a culture of violent thoughts for young boys who are invited to author violent scenarios before they can even read.

This video was featured in the 2006 California Biennial, Frequency at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and was commissioned by the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts for Bay Area Now