B. B. Araya: Telling the Stories of Women of Color

Photo by Bonica Ayala.
What if everything you know was stripped of the perception of truth and what was revealed is the authentic truth that no one is even aware of?

In the artistic work of B.B. Araya you will find vulnerability – vulnerability that we, ironically, need in order to break free from the digital coma of our times.

As a writer, I resonate with B.B. as a woman of color who grew up with a single mother and seeks the things that give her heart a voice.

B.B. reveals the imperfections that make her unique. For example, she depicts in one of her short films, Mostly Time, a man wanting to see the “ugly parts” of a woman to realize what makes her whole.

B.B. is a Dallas native and Austin local writer, filmmaker, and improviser. She began improvising to overcome her social anxiety. She had severe social anxiety in college to the point where she felt as though she was “slowly disappearing.” She likes to face her fears head on which is why she started doing improv. She would tell her former self “you are allowed to fall apart and stop trying to make sense of everything.”

We need to break out of the digital coma of our times.

For BB’s upcoming film series, We Are, she noticed the lack of diversity in Austin and wanted to display the stories of women of color and their experiences. B.B. wrote and will direct the series, which is set to release in the Fall of 2017.

B.B. hand-selected the series’s film cast and crew, known as her “Dream Team.” There were no second round picks in this bunch. This independent filmmaker is rising above the respectability politics by refusing to filter anything to make people comfortable. Her goal is to tell the truth with her art and she has achieved this with We Are.

When it comes to the film industry, B.B. agrees that the consumer holds the power. She sees more content telling the stories of people of color, but “the ratio is still the same,” she says. She believes that film releases in the future will include simultaneous video on-demand and theater releases.

Like a church mother to her bible, B.B. keeps a DVD player despite the new video on-demand trend. At the same time, she’ll continue to release her own films online and make her work readily available to the public where they can connect with her.

Her goal is to tell the truth with her art.

B.B. started a crowdfunding campaign on IndieGogo to fund her film series, “We Are. Rewards range from social shout-outs to producer credits. She believes it is important for people to support the stories that they want to continue to see in film so they will stick around.

You can learn more about B.B. via her website, as well as the website for the film We Are.

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