Julia Yezbick is a filmmaker, artist, and doctoral candidate in Social Anthropology (with Media) with a secondary field in Critical Media Practice. Her work addresses issues such as creative processes and artistic practice, labor and work, the body and the senses, and the ways in which “place” is experienced, constructed, and imagined. Her works have been screened at international film festivals including the Mostra Internacional do Filme Etnográfico, Rio de Janeiro, the Nordic Anthropological Film Association, Stockholm, and the Montreal Ethnographic Film Festival. She is the founding editor of Sensate, an online journal for experiments in critical media practice, and runs Mothlight Microcinema in Detroit, where she is currently conducting her dissertation research.
Her current project, Manifest Destiny!, is an immersive docu-fiction collaboration with the Detroit-based performance ensemble, The Hinterlands, and filmmaker Ben Gaydos. This piece will use the history of the so-called “frontier” of the Wild West to thoughtfully address the fictions, struggles, realities, and utopic visions of contemporary Detroit. Based in part on a live performance of the same name created by The Hinterlands, this new work will paint a surrealist portrait of Detroit’s real material and human landscapes while using the physical language and motifs of the Western to explore and subvert myths being circulated about the city in public discourse and ultimately comment upon American opportunism and Manifest Destiny in a post-industrial era.