Alumna's Docuseries Featured in Teen Vogue

Cami Thomas '16, was recently featured in an article in Teen Vogue for her docuseries Smoke City. After receiving her degree in marketing, Thomas moved back to her hometown of St. Louis to create her series. Insipired by the local aftermath of the death of Mike Brown, Thomas created Smoke City to channel her grief and express the reality of life in St. Louis following the tragedy.

Thomas describes that Smoke City, Season 1 and Season 2, "Covers life in St. Louis after the Ferguson uprirsing as the city still struggles to have converstations that have lead to its repeated explosive movements". She explains further that the series, "Nods to the past while taking key lessons from my personal experience in Ferguson to help lay a blueprint on living (and surviving) in 2018 America". 

Thomas attributes Loyola for giving her the neccessary tools to succeed. She states, "I use tools from Loyola every single day. The work ethic that the school instilled in me, comes to life on a daily basis. The Jesuit ideals of loving and supporting your neighbors, leading with compassion and being and active listener are all things that helped shape me into the person I am".  

During her time at Loyola, as a Marketing major, Thomas says she most enjoyed having both a college experience but an authentic New Orleans experience as well. She states, "I felt so seamlessly integrated into the community, made valuable and genuine relationships and learned what it means to love and merge into a new community. Loyola prepared me to navigate just about any new city; I've since moved to Chicago for work and was not event slightly anxious about navigating new surroundings as Loyola empowered us to do that in a meaningful way". 

Thomas works as a Culture Marketing Specialist for Red Bull in Chicago, IL. She says she was always obsessed with cameras and storytelling since she was young and it was something she always thought about. However, Smoke City, was the first time she created video content completely from scratch. She says, "I stumbled into it, nearly out of necessity; I wanted to tell a story about my city and spoken words and written articles didn't seem to hit the points I wanted to make. So the next step was to pivot to video and filmmaking".

Both seasons of Smoke City are very personal for the young filmmaker. She says, "I created the series in a large part, to heal the trauma that came along with watching the tension and explosive moments of my hometown". Her goal is to challege the perception of the city and address the personal biases that led to discrimintory behavior.

To watch Smoke City, please click here!




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