Nina Jackson Levin's short film "Resilience/Resistance: A Short Film About Detroit" and its companion article "When Resilience Turns to Resistance: A Detroit Case Study," were recently screened and published respectively.
The short film is an experimental documentary. The film will be screened on GRRL HAUS online screening series from July 3rd-9th. GRRLHAUS is an independent film collective based in Berlin that elevates the voices of non-binary, trans, and cis women.
The theme of this week's screenings is "Revolt: Challenging systems of oppression. Celebrating strong & brave voices." The film was also screened Los Angeles Underground Film Forum (August 2019), and received Honourable Mention at London X4 Seasonal Short Film Festival (Spring 2019)
The companion article is published in Taubman College's The Agora Journal of Urban Planning and Design (April 2020). The article can be accessed on deepblue and Agora's website,
This short film and its companion article serve in partial fulfilment of the U-M Department of Afroamerican and African Studies African American & Diasporic Studies Graduate Certificate. The film project, "Filming Future Cities," is created and directed by Prof. Damani Partridge (U-M Dept. of Anthropology and Afroamerican and African Studies). Prof. Jason De Léon's (Dept. of Anthropology, UCLA) "Doing Photoethnography" U-M graduate course also provided supervision for this project.
The companion article's abstract is below:
This article is the theoretical accompaniment to Resilience/Resistance: A Short Film About Detroit. The short film offers a character study of two sisters, Annette and Earlene, long-time residents who illustrate the broader story of the present-day negotiation between resilience and resistance at stake within the City of Detroit. This character sketch brings to bear an emotionally ranging response to the complexities of the recent re-urbanism driving the public narrative of Detroit. Working to complicate the use of the term resilience within this redevelopment story, this piece and the accompanying short film offer the possibility that resilience and resistance are entangled phenomena. Resilience/Resistance asks the question: resilience for whom? In the case of Detroit, I propose two modes of resilience that coexist yet conflict: mechanical (outcome-oriented) and ecological (process-oriented) resilience. I argue that where the “urban core” of the downtown revitalization project strives for mechanical resilience, long-time residents embody ecological resilience by contrast. Within the tension between mechanical and ecological resilience frameworks dwells the possibility – or necessity – for resistance.