Plot is an experimental short film by JT Roane that uses visual and sonic palimpsest to draw out the myriad meanings and uses of historic rural Black landscapes in the expression of intra and interregional familial and collective identities.
Plot was inspired by the loss of the physical structure of JT Roane’s home church, St. Johns Baptist in Desha, Virginia, during a 2015 tornado, by the ongoing “return” pilgrimages to this space his family traces to mourn and to affirm fundamental forms of collectivity, and on research into the worldmaking efforts of these congregations after emancipation. The film explores the ways they built an alternative regional developmental schema though small scale collective cultivation of land and waterscapes.
Layered visuals and the film’s score ask the viewer to be immersed, to linger in the past and the present of these sites, to be haunted by them.
Visit the Spirit House website to watch the film and learn more.
Talk: Plot – On Black Spatial Insurgency
JT Roane’s talk on the notion of the ‘plot’ in relation to the histories of Black people in the USA and the spaces they have inhabited and created. The talk was filmed at the Masters in Commons Administration course in January 2023.
Black Ecologies zine
A zine of poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and original art, published on the website of the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Global Racial Justice.
This article is part of our season on Strange Natures.