I created this underwater background animation for Homer Jackson's stories and poetry featured in his site-specific work for POOL: A Social History of Segregation, an immersive exhibition at Fairmount Water Works in Philadelphia. For Whispers from the Deep Homer choreographed 15 unique stories, told across three digital monitors, including a combination of video, animations, and poetry vignettes. A multi-track audioscape allowed certain stories to be amplified — with all of the monitors working together to create the whole story. The animated background accompanies the text of six written stories and the credits section.
POOL illuminated a history of segregated swimming in America and its connection to present-day drawing issues affecting Black communities through the use of history, site-specific artwork, storytelling, scholarship, and place-based learning. 
Homer's stories in Whispers from the Deep all speak to the relationships that Black people have with water — from the West African water spirit Mami Wata to the alienation Black people have experienced at public pools throughout the decades, even after formal desegregation. The piece featured above, called "Ebo Landing", recounts the story of enslaved Africans who were sent to St. Simon's Island, Georgia. En route, they rebelled against their captors and took over the ship they were being transported on. Instead of risking being re-captured and living the rest of their lives as slaves, they collectively stepped back into the water, taking their own lives. The story has taken deep roots in African-American and Gullah oral history as the Myth of the Flying Africans and the Myth of the Water-Walking Africans. 
Learn more about Whispers from the Deep and POOL here.
Links to view all 15 stories of Whispers from the Deep:
Conceived, Written & Directed by Homer Jackson
Editing: Homer Jackson & Emily Zeitlyn
Animation: Gabrielle Patterson
Music: Skip the Sampler & Homer Jackson
Logo: Lynn Washington
Software & Materials
Watercolor on paper
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe After Effects
POOL exhibition website
Learn more about Homer Jackson and the Philadelphia Jazz Project at philajazzproject.org
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