Shontina Vernon

Writer, filmmaker, theater artist, and musician

Grantee Cohort Spring 2020

Location Atlanta, GA

Writer, filmmaker, theater artist and musician, Shontina Vernon uses multimedia, film, and performance to explore Black subjectivities, intergenerational legacies around trauma, and queerness. Drawing from her early experiences with the criminal justice system, her work experiments to disrupt narratives of erasure and to investigate the intersections of race, gender, and class.

Recent works include GRRRL Justice – an experimental short exploring the resistance and liberatory practices of girls and queer youth of color impacted by the juvenile justice system, the play A LOVELY MALFUNCTION, and LAST KIND WORDS, a 1930s blues based queer film.

With support from Art for Justice, Shontina will develop a limited episodic series centering Black and Brown queer women who have been impacted by the criminal justice system, and organize a community engagement series for the work in collaboration with the Visionary Justice StoryLab.

As part of their Art for Justice Activating Arts and Advocacy grant, Shontina’s Visionary Justice StoryLab presents Resisting Narratives of Erasure in partnership with Southern Fried Queer Pride. Resisting Narratives of Erasure is an “idea lab” and fellowship program investing in artists who are Black, Indigenous and people of color to create short films informed by current uprisings and cultural narratives. This four-month-long series will feature artists’ talks, panels and presentations to explore liberatory frameworks while connecting Atlanta and Southern-based media artists and filmmakers through a fellowship. Participating artists will produce short films on topics that offer insight into this historic moment.