My “Life Highlight Reels” (Year-End Video Project)

I started recording and putting together year-end videos after my Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship in Taiwan, which ran from August 2014 to June 2015. This project was largely inspired by Cesar Kuriyama’s “1 Second Every Day” project, the subject of a TED talk I watched back in college.

For those unfamiliar with Kuriyama’s work, here’s a quick summary: Kuriyama recorded one second of video every day for a year, which he then compiled into a 365-second clip. The clip went viral, and he’s since continued to record these videos—not because they help him remember his day-to-day life (their original purpose), but because they offer perspective on his life.

Unlike Kuriyama, I envisioned a simple video montage highlighting memorable moments from the year—whatever I had had the thought to capture on my camera at the time, rather than recording a single second per day. (I’ve tried the daily video approach before but found that I did not want to limit myself to choosing a single video per day.)

In the end, I loved the final product; the video felt like a recap and highlight reel of my Fulbright experience, a period of time I so treasured.

But why stop there? As Kuriyama points out, there are so many incredible moments in your life. I loved the idea of capturing slices of them to create a video scrapbook of sorts—one that I could look back on later in life to remember what might otherwise be forgotten.

While the first video spanned both 2014 and 2015, I decided that beginning with 2016, each calendar year deserved its own video. Here they are below, beginning with the most recent.

2019

2018

2017

2016

2014-15

Black Lives Matter – Free Download

My wish: use art to turn the world inside out.JR

Like many, I am devastated by news of systemic racism in the U.S. But the unfortunate reality is that the most recent injustices are nothing new. These inequities have existed long before Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland—and the list of names speaks volumes to their persistence.

In times of crisis, I look to art as my therapy. I would thus like to share a piece honoring Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the Black Lives Movement.

You are welcome (and encouraged) to download this piece and share it on your website or social channels. I am not asking for money. And though not necessary, I would appreciate it if you credited me (Joyce Chou, @joycedrawz on Instagram, or @joycewchou on Twitter) as the creator of this piece.

Beyond simply posting an image, I also encourage you to share information for learning and taking actionable steps to address this injustice. Please consider sharing the following resources:

  • American Civil Liberties Union – Nonprofit founded to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States
  • Black Visions Collective – Focused on developing Minnesota’s emerging black leadership
  • Black Table Arts – Organization focused on gathering black communities through the arts
  • Bail Project – Founded to combat racial and economic disparities in the bail system by paying bail for people in need, reuniting families, and restoring the presumption of innocence
  • Know Your Rights Camp – Launched by Colin Kaepernick to empower and educate POC youth on interacting with law enforcement
  • Campaign Zero – Provides research and data-driven policy solutions to end police brutality for safer communities
  • The Loveland Foundation – Organization that provides mental health support for black women and girls
  • Ben & Jerry’s “7 Ways We Know Systemic Racism Is Real” – An informative and educational article for those unfamiliar with the term “systemic racism”

Lastly, you can find more art from an incredible variety of artists by searching #blacklivesmatterart on Twitter. It raises my spirits to see so many creators of different backgrounds incorporating activism into their artwork.