Caecilia Tripp | Artburst Miami

And Still I Rise / The Water Dancer Monument
Artburst Miami just published a new article on Caecilia Tripp and Karen D. McKinnon's And Still I Rise / The Water Dancer Monument.
Longtime friends and collaborators Karen McKinnon and Caecilia Tripp created a compelling film installation “And Still I Rise/The Water Dancers.”  The project explores and pays tribute to African American lives lost in shipwrecks off the coast of the Florida Keys, while investigating the theme of Black Lives Matter. Producing the film was made possible through the Locust Projects New Work/Projects WaveMaker Grant.

McKinnon and Tripp, whose collaborations date back to when they met while attending different universities in Paris, make a new project about every seven years. “We’ve been going on more continuously since we started working on ‘Water Dancers’ and now are starting a collective,” said McKinnon. “We are now delving more into the cinema format starting off with this short film, which explores fluid identity,” said Tripp.

The duo began the project through a conversation with Divers With a Purpose (DWP), a group of black veteran scuba divers. The group started an alliance with the Everglades to do archaeological searches for the remnants of The Guerrero Slave Ship, which wrecked near the Florida Keys in 1827; 41 of the 561 Africans aboard the ship perished. 

The filmmakers were also inspired by actor Samuel Jackson, who made the six-part television series examining the 400 years of human trafficking from Africa to the New World, “Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.” The first episode features the DWP divers and their search for The Guerrero.

“As we spoke more about this project, and as the Black Lives Matter movement and the George Floyd protests raged on, we spent a lot of time working with these groups and felt this all tied together,” said Tripp.

McKinnon, who is a Miami native, and Tripp have integrated the contemporary history of Miami with this sunken slave ship The Guerrero. Tripp says the film is, “examining what it would be like exploring this and raising this sunken slave ship’s history up, presenting it in a very poetic form,” said Tripp. [...] 

– Josie Gulliksen
Read more at Artburst Miami
February 16, 2024
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