Update

Hi everyone!

A lot has been going on, so I thought I would write to share with you all about it.

Video Editor and Social Media Intern at The Poetry Vlog

This spring quarter, I will be working as a Video Editor and Social Media Intern at the YouTube poetry channel The Poetry Vlog. The channel is fairly new and features video interviews with many poets such as Jane Wong and Adam Falkner. It’s run by the wonderful poet and professor C.R. Grimmer and many students at UW.

So far, I’ve been enjoying working with everyone on this project. I have been working with Premiere Pro to do the video after effects, have made a new Twitter for the Vlog, and managed other social media things. I find managing the social media to be particularly fun.

features writer at The Borgen Project

I also was recently promoted after my journalism internship with The Borgen Project to be a Features Writer for their magazine and blog. I write a solutions journalism article about global poverty for them once a week and still do government advocacy as well.

New Video Poem!

I have made a new video poem called “My Goodbye Letter to the Oscars” where I discuss my thoughts and criticism of the Academy Awards. This discussion includes talking about #oscarssowhite and sexism within the Academy.

I made this poem in a relatively short amount of time as it is a timely piece. In thinking about the Oscars a bit recently I felt compelled to make this poem.

My goodbye letter to the oscars

My Goodbye Letter to the Oscars

I remember watching the Oscars for the first time in 2007. My seven-year-old eyes were mesmerized by the spectacle and shero Ellen Degeneres hosting. I’d never seen anything like it and loved it so much I watched it twice. Over the years, the glitz and glamour of the show fell away as I grew to recognize the lack of diversity the Oscars celebrates. Year after year, I’ve found the nominations to be more interesting to say the least.

I guess some might say it’s more progressive this year being that a record high of 62 women were nominated. But that only accounts for one-third of the nominations and no women were recognized for best director. Not a surprise, as only 5 have been nominated for the best director award in the 91 years of the Oscar’s existence. And only one, Katherine Bigelow, has won in hertory. Then there’s the fact that only 13 female-directed films have ever been nominated for the best picture award.

And let me get started with #oscarssowhite. This year only two people of color, Cynthia Erivo and Antonio Banderas, were nominated for the best actor awards. Out of 20 nominees. Only one movie that is very inclusive of diversity, Parasite, was nominated for best picture this year.

It is an atrocity that no Asian woman has ever won the best actress award. And only one, Merle Oberon, has ever been nominated for the category. Making history in 1935. A black actress has not won the best actress award since 18 years ago when Hallie Berry won the award for her performance in Monster’s Ball. Then, only 5 Latinx American actors have ever won the best actor oscar. 

And to note, when someone who is diverse is awarded at this ceremony it is usually for performances of stereotypical roles such as a slave, servant, or criminal. This trend needs to be called out. 

And about the Academy, their representation is an abomination with 68% of it being male and 84% white out of their 9,537 academy members. 

I’m sick of this white-washed male-gazed 

Societally-merited parade

So no, I won’t be thanking the Academy.

International Video Poetry Festival Feature

It is with gratitude that I am announcing that my video poem “The Girl With Red Shoes” premiered at +the Institute [for Experimental Arts] eighth International Video Poetry Festival. I directed, acted, and wrote the film while my creative partner Elán Bustillos created the music for and filmed the video.

In celebration of the film premiere, I thought I would share some photos from the video creation process with y’all.

My Borgen Project Journalism Internship

Hello!

I am excited to announce that I will be working as a Journalist Intern for The Borgen Project through the second week of February. As an intern, I will be writing 11 articles about global poverty for this project’s blog and advocating for bills to be passed by the government that fight global poverty.

The Borgen Project is a nonprofit organization that fights poverty through government advocacy to pass bills that help fight global poverty. Most recently, they helped pass the End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act in the House of Representatives. They also fight poverty through educating the public about issues of poverty which is where the blog comes into play.

If you would like to donate to my fundraising campaign for this project, you can do so by clicking here. To see more about The Borgen Project click here. To see their blog click here.

RAICES Fundraiser Art Showcase

What an amazing night our RAICES Art Showcase Fundraiser was. We raised $947 which was $447 over our $500 goal!!!! This event was organized by Piper Toohey-Olsen and I. There were amazing performances by Jaime Lambey, Magnus Youth, Cora Thomas (@corathomas), Alyssa Cruz (alyssacruz___), Peter Lawson, Marissa Huber (@absolutelymarissa), Arwyn (@sanrioslime_), Lauren Lemieux (@littlelemieux), Elàn Bustillos (@elanbus), and Piper Toohey-Olsen (@piperforever). I also performed my poems “Race” and “I Will Slam This Poem Into the Wall”. Awesome visual art by Rebekah Kamer (@_rebekahruth), Kate Willman (@cascadiacowgirl), Braden Dose, Bird Lindquist (@schoolbusofficial), Cassie Rossow (@pours_by_cass), Rose Santana (@santanas_sketches), and Lucille were featured as well.

Performers
Visual Artists
Organizers Piper and I

Face the Stigma Poetry Performance

Hi everyone,

I will be performing a few poems about mental health at Face the Stigma Night. This event is a mental health awareness campaign designed to de-stigmatize mental health and increase awareness of student mental health. The event will be a night of storytelling and creative expression. Hope you can make it!

-E.J.O