Mahkia Greene


By Word of Mouth


by Mahkia Greene

By Word of Mouth is an amalgamation of documentary and metaphysical architecture that explores the connections and myths created by reputation.

Artist Bio

Mahkia Greene is a Columbia based filmmaker. Her love for film emerged at a young age, when she began shooting and editing home movies and short films with family and friends. Mahkia graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Media Arts from the University of South Carolina in 2016. Since then she has done her best to incorporate her own identity as a young queer, black, southern woman in her art. Currently Mahkia is a media education instructor for Indie Grits Labs where she teaches two media based afterschool programs, TakeBreakMake and Come Around My Way. However, when she’s not creating (or helping others create), Mahkia enjoys consuming copious amounts of television and food.

“Am I doing the community justice? A lot of things can start with good intentions, just like a lot of bad things can start with good intentions, and I want to make sure that I’m not being part of the problem and trying to speak for this community. I’m trying to allow the community to speak for itself — by interviewing them and asking them who I should interview next, by letting them guide me through the process, as opposed to me picking my favorite person to talk to, you know?”

The Documentary


Highlighting some unexpected, but prominent figures in Eau Claire, By Word of Mouth allowed residents to map out their own community by deciding who was interviewed next. This “pay it forward” technique was used not only to showcase the connection that exists between those interviewed, but the fable-like storytelling style that arises from word of mouth communication.
The result is a short documentary combines these video portraits with modern storytelling video diaries.

The Installation


An exploration of reputation, myth, and connection based on interviews with residents/businesses of North Columbia, By Word of Mouth serves as a visual representation of the complexity of reputation and the folkloric storytelling resulting from it. Through the careful creation of “monuments and intricate string work, this project reflects these “other worldly” personas and their connections to one another.

Monument: Appliance Sales and Service
Cedar wood planks, horseshoes, gold spray paint, business cards, and digital video


Monument: Angelo’s
cardboard, acrylic paint, clay, ice cream cone and digital video


Monument: Sweeping Woman
Wood, paint


Monument: Rosco
Plaster, sweatshirt sleeve, and digital video


Monument: Frank
Old boombox, baseball, framed portrait of Willie Nelson, digital video

Behind the Scenes