Cara Reed

Meet Cara. She's stubborn, gritty, and strong. She expresses her creativity through filmmaking, photography, music, and writing.

What drives you to create?

The stories of people- growing up in South initially gave me an isolationist perspective- if someone was different from me, they were other. They fell into a statistic. Hearing stories from people who were the “other” however showed me all of the ways I was wrong. Once I saw that transformation in myself, I felt like it was a responsibility to give the same opportunity if I could. One story changed my entire life course- hopefully I can give people just a taste of that.

Who has impacted you the most artistically?

She names four people. Ingmar Bergman (through his fearless pursuit of philosophical fulfillment). Asghar Farhadi (through his beautifully complex and morally ambiguous characters). Writers like Faulkner and O’Connor (showing that you can find beauty and meaning in ugly and desolate places).

How are you contributing to The Royal Tour?

A piece of my story.

What does the word "royal" mean to you?

This is an interesting question, and probably brings out my more pessimistic nature. I think about unfortunate Czars who didn’t want the job, or men and women with birth defects following centuries of inbreeding. Even outside of historical Europe, though, we see puppet leaders; Shahs imposed on their people. Evidence of horrific colonialism. Actual royals were, more often than not, bad at their jobs. People who were socioeconomically advantaged because they were born into it.

So, I think the term “royal” is actually due for a re-brand. I think, in order to really newly define “royalty,” we need to truly think about leadership. You aren’t born into leadership- you grow into it. The heroes/heroines who change the course of history go against what’s wrong, go against what’s easy. Leaders push against the norm.

And that's why art is so important. It's not nationalism that's changed the course of things. It's the challenge of your belief system- testing your thought processes against a challenge. It's Arendt, it's Hafez, it's Frida, it's Said. It's MLK, it's L'Engle, it's DuVernay, it's Chopin. Anyone who has challenged your perception of the world is a leader- even if you don't believe them. And, in turn- that's what we as artists should strive for- becoming leaders through challenging perceptions.

And that’s what I hope royalty will mean.

How can we support you?

Follow me on Instagram: @caraereed