“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
Chandler Phillips is a visual storyteller from Lawrenceville, Georgia. Raised with roots in the South and the West Indies, she is deeply interested of stories of Blackness, womanhood, and communities that have historically been overlooked and misrepresented.
Chandler’s work focuses on concepts of identity, grappling with truths and identities existing within ourselves that are waiting for a chance to find reconciliation through release. She sees documentary as a chance to work with others, leaving space for all parties to share those truths. Chandler appreciates interweaving stories, as this process shows how our histories are interconnected. Her aim is to reveal the many ways we can learn from those around us; to see that songs with different lyrics often share the same tune, as well to recognize how starkly different those tunes and lyrics can be. These stories are often the words and images that embody who we are when our bodies do not have the capability, the protection, or the privilege to do so.
Chandler is continuously looking for ways to step out of the visual constraints of traditional work, in order to reflect to magical realism that lives within our minds and conceptions of self. We consume stories every day, why not choose to take in something real, something raw, something beautiful and wrapped in possibility for something more.
Chandler graduated from Duke in 2018, majoring in Sociology with a certificate in Documentary Studies. She was given her first taste of storytelling in Traditions in Documentary Studies. This interest spiraled into filming and producing four short documentary films; working with the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival; becoming a summer fellow of the Center; and, nearest to her heart, co-founding an online publication, the Bridge, at Duke and the University of Chapel Hill, which celebrates the creative talents of Black and Latinx women of over 100 students. She is immensely grateful for what she’s experienced and what is to come.
This year, she has the great honor of working with Hunts Points Alliance for Children through the Lewis Hine Documentary Fellowship: “The Hine Fellowship is an incredible opportunity that combines my love for the community and for the creative. I will be learning from remarkable community advocates who put their hearts into this work while also having the space and support to push myself creatively. I am beyond grateful and blessed for this fellowship.”