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Ella Turenne: Using Your Artistic Talent for Social Activism

In this episode of Badass Black Girl, MJ talks with Ella Turenne, a multi-faceted artist, activist, and doctoral student. They discuss her journey to writing, how filmmaking makes her a better actress, and how acting makes her a better filmmaker. MJ asks how Ella's Haitian background and sense of place informs her work, and how Haitian culture influences her social activism. Ella talks about ways to use your artistic talent for social activism, and where to find resources for social activist groups in your community. They talk about her visual art and how she became interested in that aspect of her artistic career. Ella talks about time management and she how balances the different aspects of her artistic career. Finally, MJ asks her what lessons she has learned along the way that she can share with viewers that will save them from headaches, and Ella talks about the importance of learning to accept rejection and learning to be disciplined.

Ella Turenne has been described as a “one-woman army of culture.” She has performed in an array of theatrical works including On Striver’s Row, Raft of the Medusa, Blood Wedding, Africa Atunbi!, Shades of Blue, Love Child and, most recently, Come Back to Me. Her film woodshed was an official selection of various national film festivals including the Hollywood Black Film Festival and the Montréal International Haitian Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best Short Film. In collaboration with Brown Medius Productions, she co-produced the short film Freedom in 2012. As a poet, her work has been showcased in various publications including Tanbou Magazine, The Anthology of Haitian Poets in Massachusetts, The Nubian Chronicles, i got somethin’ to say and, most recently, Check the Rhyme: An Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees. You can find out more about her on her website.


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