Getting Oriented

Produced by: 
Inja Coates
7 min

An experimental documentary video by Inja Coates


That brief comment was the inspiration for this short video, which examines the intended meaning of such statements. Using a "day-in-the-life-of" narrative style, Coates challenges viewers to rethink -- and even revise -- their own ideas of what is considered ethnic and the stereotypes underlying the "simplest comments."

"That haircut makes you look more ethnic..."

Inja Coates is the co-founder and director of Media Tank, a media education organization based in Philadelphia. She was a video maker and activist who became involved with the campaign for public access television in Philadelphia. Since 1997, she has helped build and serves on the planning board of the Philadelphia Community Access Coalition (PCAC), a diverse coalition of 80+ groups working on cable access issues.

Coates was co-founder of the Independent Media Center of Philadelphia (IMC), which was set up to provide the public with alternative coverage of the 2000 Republican Convention. She also worked with Prometheus Radio Project doing outreach about Low Power FM, and has over 15 years experience working with community groups and non-profits. Through her work with Media Tank, she has worked to build grassroots involvement in media policy, developed and taught media literacy programs, appeared on numerous TV and radio programs, and presented at numerous conferences and forums.