January 29, 2014

JUAN OF THE DEAD Film Screening

Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.
Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium

The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences' Symposium Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean hosts a free film screening of the award-winning zombie comedy "Juan of the Dead." Co-sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages, the film will be shown on Wednesday, February 5 at 7 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

“Juan of the Dead” utilizes satire and fantasy to reflect on political and social problems including the current relationship between Cuba and the U.S. and the memory of the Cuban revolution. This movie shows how Latin American film is articulated within current world film trends: it is a zombie movie, but very rooted in Cuban values and customs.

Directed by Buenos Aires-born Alejandro Brugués, his idea for the film came from watching the reality around him in Cuba. He asked himself if Cubans were different from film zombies and concluded, "Cuba is a country that has been preparing itself for a confrontation with the United States during the last 50 years. So, what if instead of that, have to confront zombies?" This gave him the opportunity to create a lead character who would say “I’m not going to allow this, this is my country, I love it and will stay to defend it.”

He continues to explain that "'Juan' is a completely irreverent comedy, with very Cuban characters, filled with action and adventure. The film can scare you or have you at the edge of your seat, while we also see how we really are. Fill it with spectacular set pieces, but also not unfamiliar to real location (hundreds of people throwing themselves to the sea on rafts,floating cars,buses entering embassies by force are things that I’ve seen personally), and along with all that our day by day complains, doubts, reflexions…"

Brugués concludes "the most important thing is that “Juan” allowed me to do the zombie movie I`ve always wanted to see since I was a kid, and that makes it more heart-felt than anything I’ve ever made before."

January 16, 2014

The Corrido of America: Music and Mexican Migration in the 21st Century

Presenter: Josh Kun, USC Annenberg
Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.
Trustees Room, Myers Convocation Center

The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences' Symposium Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean presents a program which examines the immigration effect on the Mexican music scene in California.  The presentation by Josh Kun, Associate Professor of Communication and director of the Norman Lear Center's Popular Music Project at USC Annenberg, will be held on Thursday, January 23 at 7 p.m. in the Trustees Room of the Myers Convocation Center.  The event is free and open to the public.

Professor Kun has conducted research on the regional Mexican music scene in California and what the songs of artists tell us about issues of immigration, cultural identity, transnational media and U.S.-Mexico border politics. He is the author or editor of several books, including the American Book Award winning Audiotopia: Music, Race, and America, the co-edited anthologies Tijuana Dreaming: Life and Art at the Global Border and Sound Clash: Listening to American Studies, and most recently, his collaboration with The Library Foundation of Los Angeles for Angel City Press, Songs in the Key of Los Angeles: Sheet Music from the Collection of the Los Angeles Public Library.

As a curator, his exhibitions, music installations, and concerts have appeared at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, The Getty Center, The Grammy Museum, Grand Performances, The Los Angeles Central Library, and the Autry National Center. He co-edits the book series Refiguring American Music for Duke University Press and co-runs the non-profit record label and digital archive The Idelsohn Society for Musical Preservation.

January 13, 2014

GIRL RISING Film Screening

Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m.
Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium

The Ashland University College of Arts and Sciences' Symposium Against Indifference: Engaging Latin America and the Caribbean opens its spring events with a screening of the film "Girl Rising." Co-sponsored by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence, the screening of the film narrated by Meryl Streep is free and open to the public.

Girl Rising is both a feature film and a global action campaign for girls’ education that confirms that powerful storytelling can drive change. Around the world, millions of girls face barriers to education that boys do not. And yet, when you educate a girl, you can break cycles of poverty in just one generation. Removing barriers to girls’ education – such as early marriage, domestic slavery, sex trafficking, gender violence and discrimination, lack of access to healthcare, and school fees - means not only a better life for girls, but a safer, healthier, and more prosperous world for all. 

The feature film, by Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, spotlights the remarkable stories of nine girls around the world striving beyond circumstance and overcoming nearly insurmountable odds to achieve their dreams. It uses the storytelling skills of acclaimed writers and voice performances by renowned actors to promote a powerful truth: educating girls can transform families, communities and entire countries.
The global action campaign embraces three goals that embody hope for every girl including share her story, invest in her and stand with her. The film shares the girl's story by raising awareness about the importance of girls’ education to global prosperity and peace. To date, the film has aired multiple times in over 200 countries, reaching millions of people. Girl Rising is grassroots-driven, generating nearly 800 crowd-sourced theatrical screenings and over 4 billion earned media impressions. A school curriculum brings Girl Rising into classrooms as well. 

Investments in girls are made by driving resources to organizations that help girls around the world get into, and stay in, school. Girl Rising has so far inspired over $2.1 million in donations, including nearly $500,000 to the Girl Rising Fund. Donations to the Fund are distributed among Girl Rising’s non-profit impact partners, who provide life-changing services to girls in the developing world every day.

Girl Rising stands with girls by identifying ways that world leaders can act to support and protect girls. From a rally at the World Bank to high-level screenings worldwide at UNESCO, the Irish Parliament, the Pentagon, the Peace Corps and an ever-growing list - Girl Rising consistently engages the attention of global influencers.