“Who Am I,” a short film created to raise awareness and support for Black-led grassroots organizations throughout the Seattle area, has raised more than $3,500 for its GoFundMe campaign since its release on Wednesday.
Directed by Abdi Ibrahim and Jonathan Salmon, “Who Am I,” is an “unapologetic ode” to the relationship between Black life and art inspired by Langston Hughes’ “I, too, am America.” The film portrays more than 40 Black artists in Seattle of different ages, backgrounds and mediums. Money raised through the GoFundMe will go to Seattle-based organizations Choose 180 and Creative Justice.
Choose 180 aims to transform the lives of young adults and prevent engagement with the criminal legal system through community engagement, workshops and partnering with institutional leaders. Creative Justice is an “arts-based alternative to incarceration” for youth that aims to create a community with those most impacted by the “school-to-prison-(to-deportation) pipeline.”
After the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers, Ibrahim and Salmon protested with thousands of people in downtown Seattle. The experience of being pepper sprayed, shot with rubber bullets and shoved by Seattle police during the protests angered and inspired the pair to create the film.
“We really felt at the time and still, that this was something that could be an impact in the long run and not just in the moment, or when the moment dies down,” Ibrahim says.