“Shameful Feelings” is a poetic celebration of the things in our life that we are afraid to talk about. This project is the beginning of a much larger project, one that seeks to encourage more transparency among the people of my generation (Generation Y).
The subjects of my documentary both live within a small radius of one another and come from similar ethnic backgrounds. I chose to do this in order to truly clarify the extreme diversity of shameful feelings that develops even in the most homogenous of cultures. Over the course of the project the radius will widen, taking us on a visual journey to understanding the limits of our shame.
I ask each subject that I interview to lie in the fetal position after the interview ends as a visual and psychological tool, allowing each subject to return to a feeling of comfort, while simultaneously conveying that comfort. This way, my intention is to associate the transparency of difficult truth with mutual understanding and relief.
My ultimate wish is to create a dialogue about a topic that is hard to talk about. My goal is for my generation to be better equipped for the socially important roles that are about to be heaped on us as we find ourselves the examples to be emulated by younger generations. Perhaps our honesty and acceptance will encourage proceeding generations to feel more open and comfortable with one another, so that no one will ever feel alone in their shame again.
Alexandra Gilwit is a media studies grad student at The New School. She has an avid interest in comedy, science fiction, and loves to explore the darker sides of the human condition. Please visit agilwit.com to see what she is currently working on!