Melanie Crean is an artist, educator and filmmaker whose work explores how systems of power are represented in media, culture and technology. Her research-based practice focuses on how new forms of media and narrative can be used to equitably shift relationships of power, and mitigate the impact that social systems of control have on people and their surrounding environment.
Her recent work counters the portrayal of cultural archetypes such as the hero, the enemy, and the nature of justice. Her ongoing collaborative project Mirror / Echo / Tilt, created with people affected by the justice system, uses performance techniques to retell personal stories from a position of power and shift cultural conception of “the criminal.” In her project No Such Place as America, she works with youth and local law enforcement in Hartford, Connecticut using equine therapy and collaborative storytelling to create short films and foster mutual understanding between young people and the police.
Crean’s work investigates how history is written, through what means it is recorded, and what can be read from evidence left behind in contested sites, including media, archives, architecture and the human body.