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Amber Dawn: Dirtbag Films

Art and Trauma


Filmmaker Amber Dawn, director of My Rock n Roll Fantasy, will use the lens of the Riot Grrl movement and her experience making a film about personal loss to explore the impact of making art from traumatic experience in a multimedia interactive slideshow using clips of archival 1990's footage, animation and interviews. 

"My Rock n Roll Fantasy is a personal project, 20 years in the making. After Molly 16's tragic death by her own hand in 1995, I kept a box of her artwork and S-VHS tapes of our teenaged movies, hoping to showcase her life in the future. I returned to my hometown of Portland in 2012 and found the courage to open Molly's boxes. I was blown away by what I saw. Molly's work screamed from the pages and echoed the feeling of the time period in the early 90s Pacific Northwest, where Riot Grrl and Grunge was born. I seek to to engage others in conversation about what we have lost from an era of sharing personal pain which exists in stark contrast to the heavily curated online persona's people present today and a surge of gentrification which has encouraged heavily monetizing creation of art." 

Following rebellious anti establishment urges and fresh trauma, Amber ditched high school and traveled around the US, hopping trains, playing music and performing spoken word. In 2001, she moved to New York, attended SVA for film, and became a high school English teacher in the South Bronx. Amber is currently residing in her hometown of Portland, Oregon working on a feature documentary about losing her best friend to suicide amidst the 1990's Northwest music scene. My Rock n Roll Fantasy has been supported by a RACC grant, a Precipice grant and a recent gallery show at PNCA.

Earlier Event: December 19
Mike Whitehead: Founder of FINEX Cookware
Later Event: February 23
Jeffrey R Elliott: Luthier