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The Best Work You May Never See: Flint Fwd Movement's "What is Flint?"


Robert Goldrich
Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016


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Following the water crisis travesty, Flint, Mich., was portrayed nationally as a city in danger of being broken by circumstance, a city in need. But its people came together as a community, supporting each other in any way they could, exemplifying the city’s resilience. The narrative of a city in need turned into one of a city that will overcome. 

And this video titled What is Flint? from the Flint Fwd movement captures that city’s resurgence. Posted on YouTube as well as on Flint Fwd’s Facebook page, the short features Flint residents, local businesses and narration from Mama Sol, a Flint-based poet, musician and performer. The short was directed, produced and shot by Stephen Smith via Digital Alchemy Films.

“The video gave me a realization of how hard we’re all working to move forward,” says Janet Van De Winkle, a Flint native. “I think sometimes we’re working so hard that we lose track of how far we’ve come and what we’re accomplishing as a community. It just feels great to have that captured, and it gives me inspiration to keep focused on moving Flint Forward.”

Indeed the city for vehicles has become a vehicle for positive change, according to poet Mama Sol.

Flint Fwd is a movement inspired by the resilience of the people of Flint. People that are passionate about disrupting the current narrative surrounding the city. It’s proving that, together, the people of Flint can make it through seemingly insurmountable perils and come out the other side, stronger, prouder, better than ever. FlintFwd’s mission is to inspire the community of people who call Flint home, to revitalize Flint’s downtown and to prove that together we can move Flint Fwd.


Client Flint Fwd Production Digital Alchemy Films Stephen Smith, director/producer/DP. Voiceover Mama Sol

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