LAST MAY, Alberta residents Matt Zodrow and Tracy MacDonald collected $21,528 via Kickstarter to fund Whitelandia, a documentary about "Oregon's sanctioned discrimination against black Americans."
Zodrow and MacDonald told backers they were working with "black American communities, individuals, and organizations" on the film—but at least one of those individuals, Walidah Imarisha, says the filmmakers used her image without permission in a promotional video and planned to use "my timeline, my research, and my analytical framework" as the "spine" of the film.
"This situation, where my work as a black female scholar has been used by two white filmmakers without conversation, credit, compensation, or control, reeks of intellectual colonialism," Imarisha wrote on her blog.
Zodrow tells the Mercury that when Imarisha asked to be removed from the video, the filmmakers did so. "Our reaction was to immediately remove the five-second clip from the trailer, apologize for any missteps or cloudy communication we were responsible for, and to let her know that we would always remain open to her involvement in the project," says Zodrow.
Zodrow also says he and MacDonald are interviewing and consulting with "a very long list" of other black Oregonians, including Cal Henry of the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs and police accountability consultants Jo Ann Hardesty and Roger David Hardesty.
Kickstarter backers were told Whitelandia had an estimated completion date of January 2015, though Zodrow claims he only selected January "as that's the most generic choice." He continues, "If that date appears on Kickstarter, it is only because the form used to promise rewards requires a month to be chosen. We are only saying '2015' for the release." ERIK HENRIKSEN
CHANGES KEEP ON coming at Alberta's boisterous, long-held Last Thursday street fair. A year after squaring off with a volunteer group that organized the event before eventually assuming control, Mayor Charlie Hales' office has begun closing Last Thursday an hour earlier and sending out the city's noise officer to issue warnings and violations. And that's just the beginning: Hales' staffers now tell the Mercury they're looking into restricting where musicians can set up, and requiring reservations to put up vendor booths. Both would be fairly huge changes for what has been a controversially free-flowing affair. DIRK VANDERHART