The Pittsburgh Foundation

Gregory Scott Williams, Jr.

Warriors sample protest image. Photo Credit: Gregory Scott Williams, Jr.
Warriors sample protest image. Photo Credit: Gregory Scott Williams, Jr.

2023 grant amount: $50,000 over two years

To support Warriors: a feature documentary film and multimedia photography/video exhibition.

Throughout human history, protests have served as a critical component in societal transformation. Whether the fight was against feudalism, imperialism or colonialism, mass demonstrations in the streets have played a crucial role in addressing collective grievances. Today is no different: France, Iran, Israel, Brazil, China and Russia have all experienced massive protests recently. In America, especially, protests have always been viewed as both a fundamental right (as codified in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution) and as a weapon to battle repression and inequality: fights for enfranchisement, women’s rights, worker’s rights, gay rights and civil rights, all relied upon social activism and civic engagement as essential tools for creating systemic change and achieving social justice. 

We often hear of and focus on the protesters: we celebrate and demonize them. Protesters are extraordinary, famous and infamous. Rarely do we hear of or focus on the ordinary majority of Americans who choose not to participate in “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and petition the government for a redress of grievances.” 

Warriors is a feature documentary film and multimedia photography/video exhibition that explores the relationship between protests and the non-protester. Together, the film and exhibition intertwine the story of a Black Pittsburgh teen who has never participated in a protest, Kiara Washington, with images and footage from various protests held in Pittsburgh. Warriors juxtaposes protests and a non-protester without making judgements about either.

"My hope is that by connecting protests with a non-protester, Warriors contributes to a deeper understanding of the relationship between marching in the streets for justice and dancing on TikTok for joy," says Williams. 

WEB: https://www.gregoryscottwilliamsjr.com/
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/GSWNI/
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/@GregoryScottWilliamsJr

2023 AWARDEES LIST ADVANCING BLACK ARTS IN PITTSBURGH MAIN