May 14, 2021: Certificate in Documentary Arts Grad Presents Final Project in Online Event

Foxfire Ranch in Waterford, Mississippi; photo by free feral.

Foxfire Ranch in Waterford, Mississippi; photo by free feral.

The Center for Documentary Studies is proud to recognize free feral, a student in its continuing education program (CDS Courses) who will receive their Certificate in Documentary Arts and present their final project in an online event on May 14, 2021. Filmmaker Randy Benson, a longtime CDS Courses instructor, worked with feral in a Final Project Seminar as they completed their certificate program of study and substantial documentary work.

Friday, May 14, 6:30–7:30 p.m.: Please join us on Zoom at this link to honor free feral’s accomplishments as a Spring 2021 CDS Certificate in Documentary Arts graduate and experience their work, a 30-minute audio piece; read more about the artist and their final project below. 

free feral / We Are the Promised Land

Over a hundred years ago, Albert Hollowell bought eighty acres outside Holly Springs, Mississippi. His son and daughter-in-law, Bill and Annie, have developed the space into an entertainment and event venue, where they regularly showcase the music of the region, North Mississippi Hill Country Blues. Now, Bill and Annie’s daughter, Annette, is answering the call to take the torch and steward the family land and legacy with a renewed commitment to center Black joy and Black Healing. In our pilot episode, we meet the Hollowells and consider a hundred years of Black land stewardship in Mississippi.

We Are the Promised Land is collaborative documentary multimedia exploration of Black inheritance in Mississippi’s Hill Country led by Annette Hollowell and free feral. It centers the Hollowell family and their land, Foxfire Ranch, and chronicles the process of passing the responsibilities of stewardship for that land to the next generation. Along the journey, we interrogate regional and familial legacy, traditions, and what it takes to preserve the memory of our ancestors while healing the wounds still present in our families. How do we create within us the afterlife our ancestors deserve?

A photo of free feralfree feral (they/them/their) works with sound, song, and story to explore the mundane mysticism of survival and memory. As a musician and composer, they create scores for film, theatre, and dance using strings, loops, and vocals. As a writer, they like to explore nonfiction narratives through a poet’s eye view. In 2020, with Sultana Isham, they founded Alphabet Sound Observatory, offering free and affordable access to quality home recording equipment, mentorship, and training opportunities to BIPOC women and gender variant folk in New Orleans. @freefereal and @foxfire.ranch

Photo of free feral by Jinks Holladay