Travis Wilkerson

Academics

Travis Wilkerson

Lecturer, Film
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  • Master in Fine Arts, California Institute of the Arts, USA

A chance meeting in Havana with the legendary Cuban film propagandist Santiago Alvarez changed the course of Travis Wilkerson's life. He now makes films in the tradition of the “third cinema” wedding politics to form in an indivisible manner. In 2015, Sight & Sound magazine called Wilkerson “the political conscience of American cinema.” His films have been screened at various venues and festivals worldwide, including Sundance, Toronto, Locarno, Rotterdam, Vienna, Yamagata, the FID Marseille and the Musée du Louvre. The NY Times called his most recent film Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun? “an urgent, often corrosive look at America’s past and present through the prism of family, patriarchy, white supremacy and black resistance.”

His agit-prop essay on the lynching of Wobbly Frank Little's - An Injury to One - was named one of the best avant-garde films of the decade by Film Comment and a "political-cinema landmark" by the LA Times. Travis’ work with Erin Wilkerson in Creative Agitation was included in the Venice Biennale. His writings on film have appeared in Cineaste, Kino! and Senses of Cinema.

Films, Performances, and Radio Documentaries
  • Nuclear Family, Essay, 100 minutes (2021)
  • A Brief History of the Obliteration of Hope, Experimental, 7.5 minutes (2019)
  • Underground, Radio Documentary/Podcast For KCRW’s “The Document”, 34 minutes (2019)
  • Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, Documentary & Live Performance, 90 minutes (2017)
Publications
  • Force of Evil - A Premonition of the Blacklist in Fragments, part of The Sound of Fury: Hollywood’s Blacklist, Deep Focus 32, edited by Hannes Bruehwiler, Betz+Fischer Verlag, Berlin (2020)
  • Movies Can Defeat Bombs: On Santiago Avarez and Carpenter Thanh, Catalogue essay for Cuba at 60 Retrospective, Ljubljana film festival Liffe, Slovenian Kinoteka
  • 100-Year-Old Newsreel, w/ Erin Wilkerson, part of Nika Autor Newsreel 63, Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2017)
  • One at Ground Level, The Other at Towering Heights, Politics & Poetry, Joris Ivens Foundation, (2017)
Research Interests
  • Documentary.
  • Narrative.
  • Experimental filmmaking.
  • Live cinema.
  • Political cinema.
  • New Latin American cinema.
  • Third cinema.