Desdemona Kusi

MFA ’24 Film/Video

The experimental short film Oba y3 m3 gives acknowledgement and respect to the Ghanaian American culture that permeated my upbringing up in the late 90s. My home was the setting that made my life a movie since I was born. My brown eyes remember special scenes taking place in my backyard, halls, beaches, auditorium. These places were and remain filled with the beats, my native language, colorful fabric from the Motherland, and excessive styles on all of these
melanated faces that looked like me, as my family migrated from Bronx, New York to Worcester, Massachusetts.

Oba y3 m3 was created to fill speakers with the narration of my own rhythm and flow of spoken word, while my body is captured on screen getting lite, krumping, doing the azonto and Afrobeats footwork. All of these elements including a wedding, expression of spiritual allegiance to our ancestors, and my journey as a filmmaker, sister, daughter, and a black woman are all interconnected, embracing the dichotomy of all of these attributes that have made me into the woman that I am today. My hope is that Oba y3 m3 reminds those who are also the first generation born in America of the beauty in the complexity of our upbringings.

Desdemona Kusi is a Ghanaian American filmmaker born in the Bronx, and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her recent work explores her identity as a first descendant by highlighting the different genres of music, her family upbringing, dancing, food, fabric, spirituality, and traditional events. Her MFA Thesis Work takes the form of a poetic autobiographical experimental film. Desdemona is driven to continue to produce films that showcase the positive experiences and liveliness of black communities. Through her short films, she pays homage to the past, present, and future developments of her own culture.