Video Essay

by Sam Perez

  • Video
  • Essay
decorative header image from Volume VI Issue 1 · Spring 2020

In the Fall of 2017, I participated in a workshop on video storytelling conducted by StoryCenter in Berkeley, California. We were tasked with producing personal narratives in a very short format. Iowa surged as a story I had to tell, but one I did not know I had within me. I recorded my voice only once, as I wanted the story to have a spontaneous quality of self-discovery. For the same reason, I left in place the rough enunciation and the abundant slurring of words throughout the recording. The soundtrack includes a recording of Grinnell College’s President, Raynard S. Kington, delivering a Commencement address, along with a recording of a lion at Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, recorded when I visited there with my husband. I also included music from my adopted city of New Orleans, all layered with a video shot with my phone while casually driving on I-80 from Grinnell towards Iowa City one sunny winter day. I pieced together all these random bits and pieces of sounds and images from my past to tell a story about home and belonging.Rootstalk leaf-bug icon marking the end of the article's text.

Video by Sam Perez
About Author Sam Perez
Portrait image of author Sam Perez.
Sam (Mirzam) Pérez moved from Honduras to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies. When she is not teaching Spanish literature at Grinnell College, she enjoys painting, spending time by the beach, and listening to live music.