Testimony: The Invisible Violence of UPenn

On May 31, 2020, residents of 52nd Street, in the predominantly Black neighborhood of Cobbs Creek, were attacked by the Philadelphia Police Department in response to unrest over the murder of George Floyd. Private university police forces from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn), Drexel University and other organizations also participated in the crackdown. “Testimony 52nd St.: The Invisible Violence of UPenn” is a short stop-motion animation film based on the testimony of 52nd St. resident and UPenn employee, Amelia Carter from the Penn Public Safety Review and Outreach Initiative held on August 18, 2020. The film explores the impact of the police attack on 52nd St. and questions university police involvement that day.  

Through her testimony, Amelia attempts to disrupt the normalization of everyday acts of institutional violence and white supremacy perpetrated by the university and interrogates why Penn Police were present that day. Through her own self-reflection, Amelia invites the audience to question the societal conditioning that leads to complicity in the face of this injustice and imagines a world where community care is prioritized over policing.