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2020 PVD Design Catalyst: Jonah M. David

July 10, 2020 /// Featuring: Jonah M. David


Photo by Rue Sakayama Photography.

Photo by Rue Sakayama Photography.

1. Tell us about your company! 

My name is Jonah M. David and I am a filmmaker and videographer. I love to help folks represent what is meaningful to them. My focus is on healing — through mindfulness, art, and social justice. 

2. What’s the story you are telling through your business? 

In our day and age, video is part of the fabric of daily experience and how we represent ourselves. It can mirror back and create culture, help us connect with one other, and pass along wisdom to future generations. It can tell short stories, be a portrait, a poem, a riddle, hold song, hold dance. It can honor people, honor the earth. Video today is ubiquitous and can be done easily, instantly, and endlessly. But to do it justice, it takes intention, patience, and care. Video is not sitting around a fire telling stories. But it can make you laugh, and it can make you cry & most importantly it asks us to pay attention to life as it unfolds, all of which makes us human. 

3. How has the Catalyst program impacted your business? 

With the support of the Design Catalyst, I have been able to significantly expand my filming and editing rigs, as well as clarify how and why I create work.

One of the gifts of the program was the time to watch films, talk to my filmmaking friends, and really get to know what it is that this medium has to offer us. It gave me space and energy to situate myself within the form, and hone in on and acquire the right tools to make. 

4. What’s the most important aspect of being a business owner? 

What are we here for, except to learn how to take better care of one another? 

Photo by Rue Sakayama Photography.

Photo by Rue Sakayama Photography.

5. Finish this sentence! When I’m not creating I’m... 

When I am not making films, I grow veggies, sit silently, and make pizza.

6. How has living in Rhode Island influenced your work? 

We live in a special place. You can bike to the beach or the woods, and eat delicious food with low-key vibes. What else could one ask for? 

7.  What draws you to Providence? 

People in this town see that all is not well in our social condition. There is grief and frustration and lives at stake, and there are movements here to push for what is right and true. Oppression has been part of our human legacy, and there is nothing more imperative than its dismantling. I have seen the uncompromising efforts of organizers here to work for the marginalized. People are willing to see that if we carry on as usual we will destroy each other and the planet. Only through the community, expanding the horizons of our love and understanding, can we see our interconnectedness.

8. What has it been like creating during this time? 

For a moment, this moment was a pause and reset. Now, it is a time to make, in many ways more than ever. Remembering to do so with grace and taking the time to appreciate what matters. 

9. What’s your biggest takeaway from 2020 so far? 

It has always been true, evermore now on the surface, as my Grandmother said, “ya nevah know.”

Image by Jonah M. David.

Image by Jonah M. David.

Catherine Chung