Tapestries is an audio documentary series that chronicles the stories of individuals as they navigate their lives after a breast cancer diagnosis. In an effort to change the discourse around breast cancer, this project offers alternative narratives to the mainstream depiction of ‘pink survivorship.’ By sharing the complicated stories of people navigating life after diagnosis, we question our culture’s relationship with cancer, femininity, gendered bodies, power, and survival.
This series intends to be a vehicle to reassess how we talk about breast cancer. We draw attention to the fact that there is a world of individuals who exist outside the ‘pink ribbon’ culture. By shifting the focus and decentering middle aged, middle class, cis white women, and reframing the narrative to be more complex than the ‘warrior’ story of survival, we aim to honestly depict to the nuanced and complicated realities of life after a breast cancer diagnosis.
Working collaboratively, this project will be directed and edited by filmmaker Emily MacKenzie and produced in partnership with Vonn Jensen.
VONN JENSEN is a trans, non-binary, US-based cancer activist and vanguard approaching advocacy through the lens of social justice. They founded the movements Flattopper® Pride and Queer Cancer and work specifically with populations often disenfranchised or rendered invisible in the dominant breast cancer narrative. Using a variety of media, they have worked for visibility as a means of combating the marginalization that certain groups, such as the queer community, face during treatment. Vonn formed the organization Flattopper® Pride, and the support group Queer Cancer.
EMILY MACKENZIE is a New Orleans based director and editor. She is a graduate of Bard College and the New School’s Documentary Media Studies program. MacKenzie edited on Nina Davenport’s feature length HBO Documentary FIRST COMES LOVE. MacKenzie has worked as a director, producer and editor for broadcast networks such as MTV, HBO, and Animal Planet and for documentary films - features and shorts - that have been screened at festivals internationally. MacKenzie was the recipient of the Franz Boas Ruth Benedict award for research into NY’s Ethnomesh music and was Awarded the “Best Made in NY” silver spoon for her first documentary THE BEST THING I EVER DONE in 2011.
EVANGELINE (VANGE) HEILIGER
EVANGELINE (VANGE) M. HEILIGER (She/Her/Hers or They/Them/Theirs) is an intersectional queer feminist scholar and cultural theorist whose research investigates the creative strategies that queer, poor, disabled, and POC folks develop to survive and thrive. Her expertise is in gender & sexuality, queer economies, queer ecologies, sustainability, American ethical consumerism, and queer/crip/postcolonial feminist sciences. She is also a Tapestries co-producer and director of its advisory board.