Distinguished British applied theater scholar/practitioner in conversation at Brandeis
- Art, Beauty and War: A Brief History
A pre-concert presentation and discussion with Dr. James Thompson. Followed by Music Unites Us Concert "Home Within — A Live Audio-Visual Performance from Syria" featuring jazz clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, and post-concert conversation.
- Presentation/Performance of "In Place of War: Digging Up Stories in Ondaadtje's Sri Lanka" by Dr. Thompson, followed by Q&A and reception
Dr. James Thompson, an acclaimed leader in the global peacebuilding and the arts field, discussed 10 years of theatre practice and research in the conflict-affected areas of Sri Lanka. He explored how performance and the arts in these settings can deliberately and accidentally dig up issues from the past and question notions of truth places where those stories are violently contested. As in "Anil's Ghost," digging up human histories, as well as digging up human remains, challenges the present as much as putting the past to rest.
- Open class and workshop in Applied Theater and Oral Communication with Dr. Thompson
Events focusing creative attention on the struggle for voting rights
We explored songs and stories surrounding the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1963, and consider actions we can take today in the face of the 2013 Supreme Court decision that annulled the key provision of the Voting Rights Act and "put a dagger into the heart" of the law.
- Acting Together on the World Stage: "Asking Toward the Light"
Screening of the award-winning, Brandeis-produced, hour-long documentary, "Acting Together on the World Stage: Performance and the Creative Transformation of Conflict," featuring courageous performance from conflict regions around the world, followed by conversation with film-maker Allison Lund, Center associate Jane Wilburn Sapp and Associate Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies Thomas King, joined by students in the CAST minor.
- Opening Eyes, Ears and Hearts: Performing Oral Histories about Encounters with Differences from students in CAST 150b
Students from the Introduction to Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation share scenes, poems, songs and images based on oral history interviews with people different from themselves. Come prepared to listen, look, and, if you like, sing and dance as well! Refreshments will be served!
Explore the many ways that improvisation enlivens the arts and sciences; inspires individual and group creativity; and encourages cultural innovation at the first Brandeis Improv Festival. This three-day festival was filled with concerts, live performances, panel discussions and workshops, featuring a diverse range of mediums and artistic genres.
The Festival opened with an open discussion on "Improvisation and Social Transformation" between Tom Hall (author of "Free Improvisation: A Practical Guide") and Cindy Cohen (director of the program in Peacebuilding and the Arts), followed by a multimedia improvisation between artist Lennie Peterson, Tom Hall (sax), and Marty Ballou (bass).
Peacebuilding encompasses efforts that aim to transform conflict by nurturing compassion and creating safe spaces for people to live fulfilled lives, with dignity and joy. Please join us as we explore the relationship between traditional/folk arts and historical memory, reconciliation, anti-violence, immigration rights and other justice work through a screening of the documentary, Acting Together on the World Stage, and a panel discussion featuring artists, activists and scholars.
The Philadelphia Folklore Project is proud to be collaborating on this program with Professor Cynthia Cohen of Brandeis University's Program in Peacebuilding and the Arts, and local artists and activists Germaine Ingram, Yared Portillo, Ximena Violante and the Liberian Women's Chorus for Change, featuring Fatu Gayflor, Marie Nyenabo, Tokay Tomah and Zaye Tete.
The new Brandeis minor Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST) presents:
Synopsis: "Malika agrees to make just one drug run to save her family home and make a demo tape for her punk rock band. When she is teamed with a veteran woman drug mule, she must decide what her deepest values are. A feminist thriller without a gun." 86 mins. in Arabic and French, with English subtitles.
Photo Credit: Toni Shapiro-Phim
The CAST minor hosted singer/activist Fatu Gayflor and anthropologist/dance scholar Toni Shapiro-Phim, both now living in Philadelphia. Fatu is a renowned Liberian singer who is the founder and the artistic director of the Liberian Women's Chorus for Change, a group that focuses on domestic violence, post-conflict reconciliation and other issues of concern for Liberians in the Philadelphia region. The Chorus is an initiative of the Philadelphia Folklore Project, an arts and social justice organization where Toni serves as Director of Programs. Toni has conducted extensive research on the performing arts of Cambodia, and edited an anthology on dance and human rights across the globe.
Conversation with photojournalist as well as Christle Rawlins Jackson, D. Farai Williams and Libbie Shufro discuss the contributions of the arts to social transformation, based on experiences in Boston's African American community and beyond.