Justice in Motion, Film and Commentary by Krisilyn Tony Frazier of Ypsilanti, Michigan & Remy of BTE
Click here to watch "Justice in Motion".
Editorial addition by Remy of Boop Troop Eugene Editorial Team:
This beautiful conceptual dance piece is a revelation. It is Transcend-Dance. It is transcending the pain and trauma of the omnipresence of racist police brutality, trauma that we have witnessed, seen or heard about, endured, and registered in our bodies, empathically or directly. Wounds in need of release, catharsis. Dance along in body or imagination as this passionate and talented crew exorcises the demons of systematized oppression, through beat-boxing and graceful therapeutic movements individual and synchronized. Engaged on the streets, reclaiming the space for the community in psychogeographic healing.
That the filmmaker is from Ypsi -- where I volunteered at a shelter for unhoused women and children, and at another shelter for survivors of domestic violence -- is particularly significant for me. There were times we had to take people in at our shelter because the abusers they were fleeing were in law enforcement in other states. That was part of my developing a lifelong commitment to building community alternatives to policing.
Special thanks to Krisilyn Tony Frazier for sharing both the film and her highly personal anecdotes and behind-the-scenes view, with Boop Troop Eugene. - E.
A glimpse into the behind the scenes of "Justice In Motion." In the spring and summer of 2020, I never imaged I would be fighting for justice on the streets of Michigan. I have come to grips with injustice before; in fact I live it every day. The thin line between police brutality, racism and me has always shown itself throughout my neighborhoods, schools and my very existence. It continues to follow me into adulthood. In 2007 a fellow community member in the town of Ypsilanti Mi was suffocated to death at the hands of police offers. He also, like George Floyd, cried out, “I can’t breathe!” At the time I did what I thought was best. I organized multiple peace marches to show that injustice would not stand. Even when taking the streets back then, there where many times after when I thought… maybe if I performed a sport, studied really hard or expanded my understanding of the system, these issues in my world would be different. Very quickly, I learned that that was not my truth. That was not the truth for any of us. What prompted me to take the streets then and even now is the fight for a family member. I woke up to a video at 3am of another Ypsilanti officer brutally beating not only a member of the community, but a member of my family. In the depths of my core I always thought, it wasn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when and who? In May of 2020 the inevitable thought manifested into what felt like a helpless reality. So that brings me here to this day where, not only do I continue to fight in the streets, but also with my creative voice. While many of our melanated, indigenous people in this land continue to fight behind the scenes everyday for the right to stay alive, there are many non people of color who only get a glimpse into what we experience and because of this I FIGHT. This is not only a war on systematic oppression and racism, but a war to save humanity. Many will fight through their given platforms. The hope is that one day there will be no more sacrificing of our bodies, our souls and our spirits to a land that won’t do the same for us!! “Justice In Motion” Special thank you to Gianluca for the countless hours of work behind the camera. Your belief in this project gave us the opportunity to share a great message with the world. Thank you to Rachel Probost, our composer. We wanted a soundtrack that represented the fight for justice and you developed every single beat and layered them with your soul. We are grateful for the tracks you laid for this project. To our gifted MC, Juan (JuJu) and to our beatboxer, Jonathan, you both brought artistic truth to this movement and allowed people to see the pain and triumph in our bodies with your voices. Your message is not only a representation of the movement, but a reflection of the reason Hip-Hop was created in the first place. To Asha, thank you for using your gift as an artist to paint pictures of the world that we live in today and of the world we hope to one day heal from. Your message to the Black Lives Matter movement will be in our hearts every time we see your pieces in this film. To the amazing dancers, I have worked with many of you for years and this project is one that I will carry with me the most. Please remember that in this moment you all chose to stand up to injustice, systematic racism and oppression through the platform of dance. Just know that your voices will be heard through your unique gifts and talented dancing. I am grateful for you all but even more, I am honored.