On Saturday, the Stadium Stompers, a group of students and community residents that oppose the construction of Temple’s proposed football stadium, screened a documentary titled, “Up With the Community!”
The film was made in collaboration with the Media Mobilizing Project, an organization that uses media and art to intervene and support social justice issues that affect the Greater Philadelphia region.
The seven-minute documentary was made over the course of three months, said Elías Gonzalez, a filmmaker on the project and a 2016 media studies and production alumnus.
The film features videos of student and community protests and interviews with community leaders. It also shows collaboration between Temple students and community members.
“I think our goal was that this wasn’t for Temple, this was for the community members,” Gonzales said. “This wasn’t something we wanted to present to Temple to convince them not to build a stadium, it was to empower the community.”
Gonzales also wanted the film to emphasize the history of disputes between North Philadelphia and Temple, while creating a call to action on the issue of community relations.
“This is something that has been happening, and people have been fighting against this for centuries,” he said.
Ruth Birchett, a longtime community resident featured in the documentary, claims that Temple’s stadium proposal is going back on charette agreements made with community residents in North Philadelphia, in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Fellow for the Media Mobilizing Project and 2010 master’s of fine arts alumnus Josh Graupera said his new life living in North Philadelphia has helped him see how the traffic would affect places other than west of Broad Street, the proposed site of the stadium.
“I saw this wonderful opportunity for people to come together and have a say in what the neighborhood should look like,” Graupera said.
Graupera hopes the documentary will help students and faculty gain a better understanding of the effects of the stadium and hopes for a more “community centered narrative” based on “the way that [the stadium] looks from the outside of campus.”
The video can be viewed on the Media Mobilizing Project’s website.
Diamante Ortiz and Noah Tanen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or @TheTempleNews.