The film of Fat Ham, an adaptation of Hamlet by James Ijames, is being digitally captured in Virginia, under strict health guidelines.
Fat Ham will be streamed on demand from March 25-April 10. Click here to learn more.
by Fat Ham Equity Diversity and Inclusion Officer Noelle Diane Johnson
We acknowledge that we are living and working on land that is not ours. We acknowledge that the Monacan people are the original people of this land.
The Monacan people once dominated the region that is now called Virginia and after English settlement, while many moved away and joined surrounding tribes, some stayed resisting colonization and maintaining their indigenous traditions in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A practice well-known in the Monacan tradition is that of burying their deceased in mounds, one of which was excavated by Thomas Jefferson, near his plantation at Monticello, relatively close to where we are, after noticing a group of mourners nearby.
Monacan people lived agriculturally and off the land we are standing on growing what many refer to as “Three Sisters” crops – corn, beans, and squash – and hunting deer, elk, and small animals like squirrels and rabbits, which you may have seen. The Monacan people remain a thriving community in this area and continue to do the indigenous warrior work of resisting White Supremacy, reclaiming their land, culture, traditions, and dignity as a recognized people and nation. We acknowledge that we benefit from systems that are rooted in capital created and expanded by the free labor of Black people, in the form of chattel slavery and legal and cultural segregation. We find ourselves today relatively close, about a 2.5-hour drive away from what many recognize as the first slave colony and port Jamestown, which is modern-day Williamsburg, VA. We acknowledge the deep history of slavery on the land in which we will work and stand with Black people in fierce advocacy for equality and justice.
In a moment, I would like to invite everyone to either stand in place or walk around nearby and take the time to honor the people that ministered to this land. The people that would eventually minister to it through slavery, and the magnitude of and rich history of what we are doing by being here and telling THIS story, a story that shines light on many cultural truths, but ultimately is that of joy and resistance. Take in the mountains, the air, the sunshine, the trees, the earth, and the masterpiece that is the lineages of those that came before us.
Now, I invite you to take your place and hold space for yourself in whatever way feels best and allow yourself to become a part of all that is interconnected.