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In honor of Black History Month 2022, SYFY and Tongal, a global community of content creators, invited three Black artists to create short videos that represent their experiences through the lens of science fiction and fantasy.
This month each short film will air on SYFY network and SYFY's Instagram and Twitter handles. We sat down with each creator to get to know them a little more and celebrate their artistry further. Below, we have Edmond Anyirah.
Tell us about yourself!
My name is Edmond Anyirah, a self-taught animator born and raised in Nigeria 'til about the age of 9 when my mom moved me and my siblings to America.
I spent a lot of my childhood drawing, watching cartoons, just anything in 2D format. Outside of that, I really enjoy anime and movies in the Magic fantasy realm. Harry Potter is one of my favorite movie series.
When I'm not watching others' creations I'm usually creating my art in hopes it might make someone laugh or smile.
Tell us about your piece. What inspired you and what does it mean to you?
This piece is inspired by my love of magic, fantasy media, and African roots, sprinkled with some childhood memory. This piece is just a reminder to myself and anyone of color that they are not evil, they are not dirty, they are not bad just because they are Black, which media sometimes pushes a bit too much.
What about this piece makes it a reflection of yourself and your love of genre?
The biggest thing about this piece is the phrase "We are magically after all." being that I grew up immersed in the SYFY genre where I was always in a new fantasy land where it felt like everything around was magical, I'm hoping to remind others we are all magical after all.
What or who inspired you to become an artist?
Funny enough, I can't really mention one person. A couple would be the Harry Potter series, just about every show on Cartoon Network, and the YouTube animator Egoraptor.
What do you love about genre? Tell us about some of your favorite works and why you love them.
I think it's that fantasy element of world-building, where this world doesn't work the same as ours. That experience of having to re-learn how everything works here.
Some of my favorites would be, the Harry Potter series, The Witcher, Arcane, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Transformers movies, Steven Universe, Gravity Falls, Dark Souls, Avengers, Underworld, and Blade.
When was the first time you remember seeing Black representation in the fantasy/sci-fi/genre space? Was it a show? A specific creator?
The first time seeing someone that looks like me represented as the main actor or character was Wesley Snipes in Blade: Trinity.
On the flip side: What still needs to happen to make you feel as though Black experiences and stories are truly represented in genre?
I would love to see more situations where the main character looks like [me] more and had a similar growing-up experience that ties back into [the] fantasy elements. The closest experience I have to that was the Black Panther movie.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
To me, Black History Month lets us celebrate being Black and reminds the world just how magical we are.
Watch Edmond's short above, and be sure to also check out the other creators' shorts on the SYFY network and YouTube to continue our celebration of Black History Month.