Jess Garland
Harp and Sol

Experimental Film

Launch Date: May 29, 2021; On view until May 2022
Online Location: DallasAurora.com/Harp-and-Sol

Artist Talk with Jess Garland and Marsha Jackson

June 29, 2021 at 5pm CDT (Online)

AURORA is honored to present Jess Garland's new experimental film Harp and Sol.

Jess Garland’s experimental film Harp and Sol traces the history of environmental racism in Dallas from the Joppee neighborhood—which was where the first freed slaves and formerly enslaved people settled in the city—to the recently dismantled illegal trash dump, Shingle Mountain. Pairing footage of the contrasting scenery in and around Joppee with an original score by Garland, the film pays homage to the land and lives affected by zoning laws and local policy.

Garland, a Dallas-based singer-songwriter and performing artist, was inspired to make this project through her involvement with Southern Sector Rising, an activist non-profit that seeks to offer marginalized Dallas residents health equity by ending decades of racist zoning. The organization's founder Marsha Jackson lived in the property adjacent to Shingle Mountain, but her concerns regarding the dump were disregarded for years. It wasn’t until Shingle Mountain began to receive attention in national press that the city started to take action.

“Harp and Sol looks at the city of Dallas through the lens of Black feminism," Garland says. "The fact that Marsha Jackson has been outspoken about Shingle Mountain for years and completely disregarded reminds me of all of the statistics on Black women and healthcare: Black women are at a higher risk of death during childbirth, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, Black women have not been taken seriously when reporting symptoms due to horrific stereotypes."

AURORA is honored to debut Harp and Sol. The film is available to watch online for one year starting May 29. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and sign up for our newsletter to receive further information, including the announcement of live performances and screenings in Dallas.

About the Artist

Jess Garland is a Dallas-based singer-songwriter, recording artist and performing artist. She is a multi-instrumentalist who combines harp and guitar loops to evoke her unique brand of ethereal avant-garde pop with celestial tones. Garland has performed with Gingger Shankar, Madame Gandhi, These Machines are Winning, Ataraxia Trio+2 and Sunshine Village. Garland is the co-producer of the film Their Lives Mattered: A Dialogue Honoring Stolen Lives by Dallas law enforcement, for which she also composed the musical score. Garland is the President and Founding Director of Swan Strings, a 501c3 non-profit music education program. Her debut single, “Glow,” is out now.

About Southern Sector Rising

Southern Sector Rising seeks to offer the marginalized residents of Dallas health equity by ending decades of racist zoning, forcing industrial polluters out of predominantly Black and Brown residential neighborhoods, and by more evenly distributing the pollution burdens of the city. Learn more about what they do and how you can become involved on their website.

Images: Film stills from Jess Garland’s Harp and Sol (2021)

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