The first Thursday of the month usually finds Controversy and Conversation meeting at the Terrazas branch of the Austin Public Library to watch and discuss a documentary film. This fall, however, we’re gathering virtually through Zoom to discuss films selected for our theme of “Racial and Social Justice.” The series began with “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” a powerful documentary about the life and work of the celebrated author. For our conversation, Dr. Helena Woodard shared her insight on Morrison’s work. Dr. Woodard’s expertise and passion guided an illuminating discussion.
In our virtual version of Controversy and Conversation, participants screen the film on their own, ahead of the discussion. The virtual format makes it possible for people outside of the Austin area to participate. One participant joined us from Australia!
On September 3, we’ll be discussing Ava DuVarney’s film, 13th. We hope you’ll join us, whatever part of the globe you’re on.
Hostile Terrain 94 is an international participatory exhibit commemorating the thousands of people who have died or disappeared attempting to cross the U.S./Mexico border, due to the U.S Border Patrol policy of Prevention Through Deterrence. Organized by the Undocumented Migrant Project, the exhibit grew from the work of anthropologist Jason DeLeon, one of the Humanities Institute’s 2019 Distinguished Visiting Lecturers. Hostile Terrain exhibits will begin launching in late Fall 2020, and continue through Fall 2021. The Humanities Institute plans to participate, with a target date of Spring 2021 for the physical exhibit, and other activities leading up to and following the exhibit.
In advance of the exhibit, the Undocumented Migrant Project is hosting “A Moment of Global Remembrance.” The Project invites members of the public to record themselves reading aloud the name of a person who has died while crossing into the United States through the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. The recording also includes details of the person’s death. While it might be difficult to speak these details aloud, the project provides one way to remember those who have died and to bear witness to the results of U.S. policies.
The Humanities Institute extends an invitation to participate in “A Moment of Global Remembrance.” If you wish to record a video, the Undocumented Migrant Project offers these steps:
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “HT94 Video Compilation” and include your name and location* in the body of the email. *If you would prefer to keep your identity anonymous this information is optional. We will also accept audio-only recordings.
- We will reply to your email with the information that you will record yourself reading out loud along with further instructions.
- Send the recording back to email@example.com
Please submit all requests for participation by July 11th
For an example of the recording, watch Jason De León and other volunteers on the Global Moment of Remembrance announcement.
Hostile Terrain 94 : Global Moment of Remembrance
Recording the video can be a difficult experience. If you choose to record a video and would like to participate in a discussion about your experience, the HI invites you to send a copy to Melissa Biggs, the guest curator for the Hostile Terrain 94 Austin site.