On January 27th, Women’s Voices Now traveled to the University of Michigan-Dearborn for a jam-packed and exciting day of lectures and screenings. Aligning with WVN’s mission to give voice to women of the world, Executive Director Catinca Tabacaru and Director of Festival Operations Cassandra Schaffa brought along a collection of Festival films to educate and inspire the university students and surrounding community.
The films are truly engaging, and spurred discussion on key issues surrounding women’s lives in the Muslim world, how the women are represented, and how they represent themselves…Such films provide an essential bridge to facilitate understanding. Catinca and Cassandra are the perfect ambassadors for the project and great catalysts for discussion. - Prof. Rashmi Luthra
The day began in Professor Rashmi Luthra’s Gender and Media Studies class. Having watched the Festival films, students came prepared with insightful commentary and thoughtful questions to follow up Catinca’s lecture. Shortly after, WVN visited Professor Jim Gilmore’s Photojournalism course. As part of their curriculum, students were asked to shoot a photo essay entitled “Women’s Voices Now: Daughters of Immigrants,” which they presented to Catinca and Cassandra for critical review.
The big event of the day was the double feature screenings collectively curated by the university staff. The first screening, Collisions, focused on films of tension and conflict. The films inspired a heated round table discussion of the burka between the audience and a panel including Catinca, Cassandra and recent University of Michigan graduates an former student body president and vice president Shahad Atiya and Sarah Jaward. The second screening, Awakenings, focused on discovering one’s own identity and was followed by an equally fruitful dialogue.
The films were very brilliantly received by the students, faculty and Dearborn community. The excitement was also aimed at WVN’s upcoming Festival in Los Angeles and a return of WVN to the UM-Dearborn campus for future events. Professor Luthra states, “We are thrilled to have hosted the Women’s Voices Now film festival at the Language, Culture and Communication department at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. The films are truly engaging, and spurred discussion on key issues surrounding women’s lives in the Muslim world, how the women are represented, and how they represent themselves. What really comes across in the films and discussion is the multiplicity of experiences and worldviews of women in the Muslim world, spanning a number of regions of the world. The films bust myths at every turn, at a time when it is essential to smash stereotypes and reject simple generalizations. Such films provide an essential bridge to facilitate understanding. Catinca and Cassandra are the perfect ambassadors for the project and great catalysts for discussion.”
For information on booking WVN for guest lectures, screenings and events at your educational institution, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 904-377-0671.
4901 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128
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