“Years passed, and the story grew to 120 pages of convoluted themes and subplots, which was not producible. In 2012, I decided to go back to school. I registered in an online MFA in 3D Modeling program at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco (AAU). After two years of the program, it was evident that my voice was not being developed. At AAU, my characters were too much of the Hollywood type, with exaggerated body proportions like stereotypical superheroes and highly sexualized male and female forms. Creature design and creation were required for the program, but were too fantastical and irrelevant to the story.”
“During my BFA studies in communication design, I started writing a comic book to illustrate and produce as a project after graduation. My Pratt Institute training focused me on Disney-like stories and visual works,… In these early concept drawings, my voice was not coming across in my visual designs and the story kept getting more complicated. Over the years, the story never passed the concept stage as I had little training in storytelling, but could have easily illustrated a story written by someone else.”
“The story of the film was first inspired by the author’s study of popular anthropology and social science of ancient civilizations. What started as a hobby turned into a passion. Those civilizations developed beyond what racists’ claimed to be possible. Many developed in some level of isolation, but were never completely isolated.”
Are we doing anything about it?
“Alternatives to the profit motive that creates this environment already exist in the form of access to open source software and hardware. The open source movement is a step toward destroying racism which is a non-biological social construct based on discrimination and oppression. This project rests on the socially constructed nature of racial definitions which are largely absent in the imagined utopian society of Alatia. A secondary theme in the film is a reflection upon how easy it is to live in self-delusion.”
Race, a society construct?
“This, in turn, creates a vicious cycle of dependance on charity from privileged groups. This conditioning becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy and an uphill battle for the disadvantaged to break the cycle.”
Race, a society construct?
“Racism, as understood in the paper, has to do with discrimination and oppression rather than the concept of race itself, and seems perpetuated by the push for profit and market dominance. For instance, due to the segregation based on the concept of race, marginalized groups are kept in environments with few resources where education, health and other social services are hindered by the lack of technology.”
“The availability of open source software is breaking the barriers of discrimination in the arts as well as in other industries. The power of open source academic software, in particular, became apparent when producing this paper. Both proprietary software like EndNote and open source software like Zotero are available for reference management and citations. The developers of EndNote claim that it works very well with Apple Pages, Word and even open source software like LibreOffice and OpenOffice, but EndNote costs $249.95 downloaded or $299.95 shipped. Zotero, on the other hand, works with all previously mentioned word processors, and is free.”