‘Sideways’ is a slam poetry video project by LA-based creative and dancer Grace Rizzo, who’s powerful words and imagery gives us some mad inspiration to face 2017. The film talks politics, woman’s rights and shines a whole lot of shade to political and social oppression. Embracing the difference of opinion, the difference of styles and fashions. That different is not defective, but rather revolutionary.
“When I started writing Sideways I got a visual of me as a child coming out of the ground like a tree but never being able to grow upward. As I was growing I was being pushed back into the ground through religious oppression so when I was growing I ended up deforming and growing crooked or sideways. I had always asked myself “why am I so…..off?” Why doesn’t my brain work like everyone else’s? And this is the visual that came to me. I had a very loving family but they were very caught up in the mechanics of religion and the politics of it, which made it hard for me to express myself in any way. It also made it harder for me to educate myself in areas other than religion which in turn can cause your brain to never fully develop. I was extremely disconnected from other people and lacked a lot of empathy. My family has since changed and I have as well but imagine if they hadn’t? That’s where you get radicals like Westboro baptist church who clearly lack the all around intelligence to abide in society so they have to isolate themselves and in turn become a cult. That’s where groupthink kicks in. Immature behavior says “I know everything I need to know and I don’t need to have any outside opinion” once you close yourself off to outside opinions (within churches or sects) groupthink takes over, and through that comes volatile behavior and lack of empathy. I have a part of a cult and it destroyed me mentally and physically for the time I was there. That’s why the video has a very backwoods children of the corn feel to it. The more isolated you are the less likely you are to make logical decisions and in turn you blame everyone else for the evil that occurs due to your distorted underdeveloped brain. ” — Grace Rizzo