(By Khayla Gaston for The Maroon) Digital filmmaking senior Troy Pierre II initiated alignment with his creative field at a young age. Now, his latest work “The Tide’s Turning” stands on a billboard on the corner of Loyola Avenue and Poydras Street.
The piece is a collage of nine photographs captured through a recent film of Pierre’s that expresses the frustration millions felt worldwide this summer as they watched the lives of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor be taken for senseless reasons.
Pierre captured the images highlighted within the work while protesting the racism against Black Americans in New Orleans. He felt this emotion firsthand when one of his friends was treated inhumanely during a traffic stop.
The protests also inspired Pierre as he began to construct his film “The Reckoning” as he finished completing the artwork “The Tide’s Turning.” Produced in the style of a satirical commentary piece, it will be a monologue short film which will form part of his senior thesis.
“We are in an economic depression (where) you go outside without a mask and could potentially die. Additionally, while we were all supposed to be inside on one accord regarding our health and safety, Black people are being murdered,” Pierre said. “Following this, the murderers justify their actions by attempting to paint the victim as a bad person based on their past due to their skin color.”
Pierre grew tired of watching the continuous news coverage and needed a release. At first, he was hesitant to go to a protest due to him living with his family and not wanting to contract COVID-19. However, he still walked amongst hundreds of other protesters across the I-10 bridge advocating for Black lives.
Despite the popularity of social media as a platform for showcasing art, Pierre believed the billboard approach was best.
“I want the community to engage with it and take pictures, whether it’s with it or of it,” Pierre said. “I just want people to see it. I was aiming to get it into a gallery or exhibit. However, around that time, they were not accepting art due to COVID-19.” Continue reading here.