In the beginning... / by Lia Crawford

...there was LaiLia Productions. Maybe not by the branded name as it is today, but the elements to inspire writing, photography and filmmaking have always existed - life on Earth. The beautiful scenery that surrounds us, from the trees to the large bodies of water to mountains to fires that we start for food or warmth. Then there are the structures we build to feel safe, unified and stable. Also, us, the diversity found in our facial features, expressions, skin tones, freckles, hair types, heights, weights, curves, abilities, and the way we as individuals represent ourselves outwardly.

These are the things we use to construct our personal narratives. The issue is, not all of our stories are being seen or heard. The institutions most of us look toward to represent people who look, sound and act like us only cater to a select few. From my vantage point, on one hand, it's understandable, afterall, it is THEIR narrative. It's their story to tell or their decision to greenlight the story that they think should be told. On the other hand, as consumers, we have a right to be fed images that accurately represent the diverse wave of who we are as humans.

In this space, I challenge you to #ChangetheNarrative. I challenge you to be brave and tell your story or support stories in various forms where aspects of your life exist. We need to support each other or we will continue to feel invisible. Aspects of my story involve domestic violence, mental health issues, being a person of color, the Prison Industrial Complex, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Predominately White Institutions (PWIs), multi-generation suburban resident, divorce, motherhood, and so much more. We all have the power, collectively, to come together and empower each other's narratives.

My goal here is to encourage you to bring your life to the table and tell your story through photography, screenwriting or filmmaking/videography. From concept to finish, I hope to help you feel visible, valid and most of all, heard. Feel free to shoot me an email. Until next time, thank you for sliding through.