St. Louis, Missouri, USA / Artist/Writer
Kentaro Kumanomido is a queer-identified mixed-race artist whose work addresses the conjunction between reality and fiction.
The back screen door of my hotel room is open, looking out into an open yard. In the hallway, hotel employees are distributing extra toilet paper because they know some people do a lot of bleeding. My roommate is a South Asian woman. We are getting ready for the conference.
In a diner, a white man with a bullet hole in the center of his forehead is sitting in the corner with the side of his head against the wall. Two South Asian men are discussing something in a hushed tone, leaning over a small coffee table from either side. I eventually get their backstory. The younger of the two men is friends with Ghandi and is half of a pair of activists that supposedly disappeared—the other is likely dead. Gandhi’s friend fidgets with his dark bangs as he speaks. The other South Asian man is the guardian of his younger companion. Sitting nearby are two Black men wearing military uniforms who are also here for the conference and who are eating and listening in. Both express their interest in Gandhi’s friend’s story and share that they are also skeptical of the mainstream narrative.
In a modern-looking gymnasium where the conference is being held, a female MC is standing on a temporary stage and hands the microphone to a Eastern European woman who has just arrived but is very late. The Eastern European woman begins her speech but soon drops script and begins naming names of several audience members and various accusations against them. (The camera zooms in on the faces of the accused). As this occurs, a white teenager in the audience stands up and pulls out a semi-automatic rifle and begins shooting at the metal ceiling, causing sparks to fly. Several audience members also stand and pull out hand guns but none of them shoot. I—the cameraperson—run to the hallway looking for an escape but have to turn back when I encounter bullets ricocheting off of the walls. I turn around and exit through a pair of heavy metal doors that are only open 88% of the time. I run across a blacktop and finally, to the safety of a roofless white plaster storage shed.