K. Rocco Shields became an activist by way of filmmaking with her debut feature “Love is All You Need?” which tackled homophobia and bullying in an effective and emotional way. Now she’s channeling the politicization around these topics, which hold even more relevance in today’s current climate, into a brand new series for GO: “Nasty Women Talk Back.”
“I think, like many people out there, I was shocked and saddened by the toxic turn in our nation’s politics,” Shields said. “And I think that like many other women or any minority I felt a sense of disgust and frankly anger that people so blatantly misogynistic and closed-minded could be given the keys to lead our country and represent our country.”
After the election, Shields felt inspired to do something proactive.
“All my projects are socially conscious and lens ideas in unique and different ways,” she said. “Because of this, I have been the target of much controversy as the storyteller of these ideas. But more than that, I realized long ago that I wanted to leave this world a bit better than when I came to it, so my projects are all focused on utilizing film/video to explain a visual idea by utilizing the aesthetics to create emotion.”
“Nasty Women Talk Back” is a weekly video series premiering next Tuesday (February 7) that will feature different queer women talking about prevalent issues in today’s political climate, such as policies, protests and public figures, and how they affect the community. New episodes will air on GO TV every Tuesday and Thursday.
“I’m so lucky that I have some amazing friends around me, all doing incredible things with their lives, and all have unique viewpoints that need be heard,” Shields said. “I’m a firm believer that visual media can be the ultimate activism tool. After all, how often do you get to engage someone with sound and imagery and get to explain an idea at the same time?”
The first few episodes will feature GO Editor-in-Chief Trish Bendix as the moderator of a discussion from guests Laura Wise (the founder of the feminist women’s weekend Mothership), Lauren Russell (of “The Real L Word” and documentary “Girl on Girl“) and Amber of Amber’s Closet. Shields (along with producer Erin Faith Wilson) hopes that the series will help become a virtual outlet for women to come together and have productive conversations about the events that are directly affecting us so deeply.
“Right now, this emotion is so important because it could be used as the ultimate empathy tool. It’s time to unite in this divided country and start an open dialog before we are censored by our own government,” Shields said. “I want to create an experience where people can start to emulate some of the ideas that come up as we discuss real events—unfiltered. There is so much talk of ‘fake news’ these days, and we are commenting on facts—actual experiences that are occurring in our society today.”
The worst thing that could happen, Shields said, is if we become “numb to the outrage we feel.”
“It’s only a matter of time until people start to take this ‘new America’ as the norm and start to be desensitized, I feel as though that’s the exact reason that there are so many shifts at one time, meant to confuse us as a culture,” she said. “In the history of the world, change doesn’t happen until people start to examine ideas and their differences and start to talk about them. Only by these dialogues can we come together from our divided ideas and start to see our commonalities rather than our differences.”
And while the topics will be heavy and hard-hitting, “Nasty Women Talk Back” will not be without a sorely needed sense of humor.
“I think it’s important to also find humor in some of the experiences that are going on,” Shields said. “If we can’t laugh, then how can we process? Some of the things that are going on in the news are beyond explanation…so at a certain point, all we can do is laugh, recognize them, and figure out how to fix them.”
Follow “Nasty Women Talk Back” on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check back right here on GO every Tuesday and Thursday for new episodes. Visit GO TV for episodes of our other regular series: “Athena Reich’s Baby Steps,” “Unregulated with Emma Willmann” and “The Cheeky Geek with Shavon Natè.”