We, Antigone

by Stefanos Tsivopoulos

October 13-December 15, 2016

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

For Stefanos Tsivopoulos, Antigone is a figure beyond categorizations that becomes a paradigm of resistance. His 35-min. film, "We, Antigone," invites us to question our own preconceived notions.

Artist's Statement 

“I have been a stranger here in my own land: All my life,” says Antigone to the chorus.

That is very much the case of Rakeem Edwards, a 25-year-old black man born in Georgia and raised in Alaska. He lived in group and foster homes before moving to Portland at the age of 21 to pursue an acting career. Now homeless, Rakeem works several part-time jobs to survive, and his main creative output is to perform as a drag queen in parties where he is paid to cry.

Does it come easily for Edwards to cry on demand? What are the images, the sounds, the stories that he recalls, that make him cry? This work takes a closer look at his life, the challenges that he faces as a gay black man in his social and working environment, his family relations, and finally in the pursuit of his dreams. The film inquires how issues such as race, sexual orientation, income inequality, and social mobility play a major role in defining and expressing oneself.

The film combines visually poetic images with discussions and interviews with Edwards and his close social network. Finally, it includes several of his performances that reveal the power of vulnerability and the acceptance of sadness and crying as a necessary catharsis.