We Are Parable are delighted to welcome Sula Douglas-Folkes.
Having completed an MA in Black British Writing at Goldsmiths, Sula is currently undertaking an MA in Film Programming and Curation at Birbeck and will be joining us for the next few months as part of her university’s placement. Below, she tells us more on why she wanted to join the team.
Hello Everyone. My name is Sula, and I am both thrilled and excited to be joining We Are Parable this month. I will be dedicated to providing you with the most up to date film commentary as well as programming a selection of rare treasures to delight and engross your growing expectations and requirements. I am a student of film curation, where I have been particularly interested in Black film in the archive, and I can’t wait to share some of the fruits of my research with you all!
It is an open secret that I’ve been a long-term fan of We Are Parable’s vision and therefore I am bursting to tell you all a bit about myself and how I got involved with this powerhouse duo. I am a lifelong cinema lover whose worldview has been shaped by the literature and films that I watched from a very young age as well as the cultural capital that I was exposed to. This has helped embed my understanding as art as a vehicle for social change.
I spent teenage years volunteering for film festivals to search for the sorts of film I love but this often left me feeling invisible and disillusioned. This experience has fuelled my passion to help create a counter-narrative that offers and reflects the rich and wide canon of Black Films which will help to project and promote a different type of cultural heritage.
Growing up as one of a handful of Black girls at my school for many years made me acutely aware of the ways in which I was highly visible, but also appeared to be omitted from the curriculum, I heard no stories from, or about my culture. As a child of parents that immersed me in Pan-African and Jamaican arts, history and culture, I didn’t understand why I never saw myself in the history books.
I sought to try and rectify this by undertaking a MA in Black British Writing at Goldsmiths University, a course that immersed me in Black thinkers, criticism, literature and film, and it was for me the first time, in an academic institution that stories of my people were centralised, valorised and celebrated.
I am so thankful for the opportunity that it made me think about the importance of alertness and activism that must produce a balanced and sustained representation of selfhood in the quest of one’s personal and social identity.
My aim is to help to bridge that gap between the marginalised and mainstream Black films by providing films that reflect the breadth of our culture.
As part of Animae Caribe 2018 team where I served as a Youth Forum Co-ordinator, which enabled young people interested in Animation to come together from across the Carribean and network with industry professionals.
For me, it is as important to see diversity in the audience as it is on screen, it is about giving Black people access to engage stories and narratives that have been shaped by us, for us. I am happy to join a team that champions this message, and has consistently created safe spaces that are genuinely concerned with programming bespoke, inclusive films and discussions.
I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity, which is a golden moment for me to further explore and discover more about the intricacies of programming films and events for audiences, and help to shape some of the output and learn from the inspirational way that We are Parable operate.