THE SONG IS YOU was made before the pandemic. before our larger cultural reckoning with white supremacy and racist power. in lieu of a traditional press release, UZOAMAKA MADUKA wrote an essay delving deeper into what this moment means by way of overlaps with our film.

ANDREA LONGACRE-WHITE asks: the last few weeks felt like a tear in the matrix, where the voices of black artists, thinkers and activists were centered and amplified, glitching the algorithm and making a new generative space. people shared resources and were galvanized around specific actions while also normalizing broader ideas like defunding the police with such lightning speed it felt like a potent and powerful moment that might mark a larger turn in the possibilities for social media as part of the revolution. what do you make of this blow to business as usual on social media where the incessant lifestyle/influencer/brand noise screeched to a halt and fully did not know what tf to do? sadly business has begun to return to usual so i might have my answer….

UZOAMAKA MADUKA replies: massive social and political movements, larger than the ones we've seen in our lifetimes, have swept the world without use of these platforms. i feel confident that large-scale coordination and activation can take place without surveillant platforms. i think corporations have convinced us that we need them to connect, to create, to survive. but if ig was gone tomorrow, i think massive, radical movements would still happen. i'm especially troubled by ig and twitter since they are such a part of the ruling order. to me, it's like capitalism - there are great stores, great small businesses, etc. but that doesn't change the fact that capitalism is corrupt. i think about what you said the other week, andrea - what's the alternative ig? the alternative twitter? that isn't owned and surveilled by facebook, et al? because no matter how seemingly innocent on the surface, i ultimately distrust anything that is curated and disseminated by these surveillant, state-endorsed corporations. i think the capacity to control and co-opt these platforms calls into question what we see and interact with on them - the question always remains, is this the conversation i am organically and authentically having? or is this the conversation that, through carefully coordinated algorithms, the state wants me to be having and is insisting i have? my friend, the writer jordan tucker, raised an important question - shouldn't we be suspicious when the system we are marching against has absolutely no problem marching with us? when capitalism links arms with those who resist it, keep in mind: nothing is actually being resisted. above all, resistance. and resistance is only resistance when it is hard to do. resist the temptation to say what power wants you to be saying. resist the temptation to have the conversation that power wants you to have. resist the temptation to rest where power has placed you.