In Canada, hundreds of women – a majority of them indigenous – have become victim to a decades-long epidemic of disappearances and murder. On March 16, Chatham University and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh will delve into this atrocity with an International Women’s Day screening of the documentary Finding Dawn.
Finding Dawn puts a human face on a tragedy that has received precious little attention – and one which is surprisingly similar to the situation in Ciudad Juarez, on the other side of the U.S. border. Dawn Crey, Ramona Wilson, and Daleen Kay Bosse are just three of the estimated 500 Aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past 30 years. Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh embarks on an epic journey to shed light on these murders and disappearances that remain unresolved to this day. She begins at Vancouver’s skid row where more than 60 poor women disappeared and travels to the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia where more than two dozen women (all but one Native) have vanished.
This film illustrates the deep historical, social and economic factors that contribute to the epidemic of violence against Aboriginal women. It highlights the disturbing, worldwide culture of impunity that allows murders of women – especially those who are poor, indigenous, or sex workers – to go unsolved and unpunished.
The Finding Dawn screening event begins at 5 p.m. at Chatham’s Laughlin Hall. Dinner is included. Welsh will give a post-screening interview via Skype with Dr. Prajna Parasher, director of Chatham’s Film and Digital Technology program. There will also a discussion on human trafficking of women and girls led by Dr. Mary Burke, professor of psychology at Carlow University and founder of the Project to End Human Trafficking.
Registration for this event is closed. Those interested in attending can email Nayab Khan at email@example.com to be added to a waiting list.
Chatham University will highlight leaders in sustainability and environmentalism during their latest spring Falk School of Sustainability & Environment speaker series. As part of the lineup, the school will feature two documentaries. See schedule and details below:
A self-described “steward of the earth,” Nance Klehm has built a reputation among environmentalists as an ecological systems designer, a permacultural grower, a horticultural consultant, and a teacher and speaker. Weedeater trots alongside Klehm through various landscapes, gathering together a collection of her thoughts and philosophies on everything from wild, uncultivated weeds to human waste composting to soil. The film attempts to sketch Klehm’s character as well as reflect the depth and complexity of her intimate relationship with the earth and all of its inhabitants.
Includes a talk by Klehm.
Power of One Voice
The Power of One Voice: A 50-Year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson examines Carson’s legacy and the continuing implications of her environmental work. The documentary pulls insights from a variety of speakers at the 50th-anniversary celebration of her groundbreaking book, Silent Spring.
Includes a discussion with Patti DeMarco, former director of Chatham’s Rachel Carson Institute.
Both events take place at the Esther Barazzone Center on Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus.
Last month, four organizations – the Chatham University Women’s Institute, New Voices Pittsburgh, the Women and Girls Foundation, and the Women’s Law Project – launched Just Films. The series includes ten documentaries covering a wide range of issues such as immigration, human trafficking, trans families, and paid leave. Many of the films were made by women and will screen in Pittsburgh for the first time.
On October 27th, Just Films welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker for the Pittsburgh premiere of Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil.
Directed by Donna C. Roberts and Donna Read, and narrated by Walker, the documentary depicts the Candomblé religion in Bahia, Brazil, a vibrant culture which evolved from the ways of enslaved Africans. Elder women leaders tell stories of Candomblé’s history, social challenges and triumphs, grounded in strong community, and Earth-based wisdom and practice.
Walker will participate in a post-screening panel along with Roberts and Candomblé priestess Dr. Rachel Elizabeth Harding. Dr. Huberta Jackson-Lowman, president of The Association of Black Psychologists, will serve as moderator.
All Just Films events are free and open to the public. The series will continue through June 2017.
The Sembéne Film & Arts Festival partnered with Chatham University‘s Global Focus Program to co-present six screenings as part of the Program’s Environmental Justice Film Series. On October 4th, the event will spotlight Bitter Seeds, a documentary about a mounting agricultural and humanitarian crisis in India.
The final film in Micha X. Peled‘s Globalization Trilogy examines th epidemic of suicides among India’s cotton farmers, which has claimed over a quarter million lives. Ram Krishna, a cotton farmer at the epicenter of the suicide crisis region, is struggling to keep his land. Manjusha, the neighbors’ daughter, is determined to overcome village traditions and become a journalist. Krishna’s plight becomes her first assignment.
The Bitter Seeds Environmental Justice Film Series screening will take place at 6 p.m. at Chatham’s Sanger Lecture Hall. Admission is free. Pizza and popcorn are provided.
On Nov. 14th, Chatham University and the Pittsburgh Gay and Lesbian Community Center (GLCC) will present Just Gender, a film that explores diversity within the transgender community, as well as the depth of transgender experience in day-to-day living.
The documentary from director George Zuber serves as a comprehensive look at alternative gender identity and gender expression, and as a passionate cry for social justice for those affected by this long-misunderstood condition. Featuring dozens of personal stories from transgender citizens, Just Gender provides a substantial journey into the wide spectrum of experiences and situations that make up this community, from cross-dressers to those who undergo sexual reassignment surgery, from childhood to adulthood, from family life to work, to marriage to social life. Narrated by Bebe Neuwirth.
Just Gender screens at 7 p.m. in Chatham’s Eddy Theater. A panel discussion will follow. The GLCC will also accept toiletry donations for its homeless services for LGBT youth and adults. Admission is free.