Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Thin Wall’ Puts People’s Stories at Forefront of History

"Mara Ahmed, a Rochester-based filmmaker, has a small but notably socially conscious list of works. Her latest film, A Thin Wall, debuted at The Little Theatre in Rochester on April 10th.

A Thin Wall is a documentary about the partition of the British Indian Empire in 1947 which created the Hindu state of India and the Muslim state of Pakistan. The film is told through the dual perspectives of Indian and Pakistani people who lived through partition and current citizens of both countries who are affected by it today.

The film stands as testament to that trying sentiment of social critics that the past should not be forgot, lest we repeat its tragedies. Opting for a more authentic take on the event as opposed to a historical retelling, its acutely personal approach delves well below the major names of well-known political figures and religious divisions into what continues to be a scarring, more intimate reminder in the daily life of both Pakistanis and Indians, many of whom themselves own the memories of partition.

Through its personal stories, artwork and animation, Mara Ahmed’s A Thin Wall is a moving, thoughtful addition to the stories of refugees and immigrant communities throughout the melting pot of the United States. It provides a refreshing, organic look at history how it was lived by its actual witnesses as opposed to being told in a more traditional fashion by third parties focusing exclusively on notable social movements and leaders."

Read the entire article by by Derek Scarlino here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Who is Gloria Steinem

This book was special to read with my daughter because I was able to meet Gloria Steinem after she spoke at my college in the 90's. I still have the book she autographed. As we were nearly finished, my daughter said, "Wait, do you think she's going to write about meeting you in this book?"

It was a painful reminder that the ERA has still not passed. I think this bit of HERstory is worth repeating:

"The Equal Rights Amendment was drafted by Alice Paul in 1923. She was one of the first leaders of the movement for equal rights for women in the United States.

The Amendment states: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

The amendment has been brought before the US congress every year since it was written, but it has never passed. Feminist organizations continue to work for the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment."

I especially loved the ending.

"In her book Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Gloria wrote an essay explaining how she came to devote her life to women's rights. She said, "In my first days of feminism, I thought I would do this ('this' being feminism" for a few years and then return to my real life (what my 'real life' might be, I did not know)...But like so many others now and in movements past, I've learned that this is not something we care about for a year or two or three. We are in it for life--and for our lives."

Gloria Steinem has spent her life working to improve the lives of women and making sure they have every opportunity that are entitled to. For Gloria, there is always more work to be done in the fight for equality In her words, "We haven't even begun to imagine what could be."

Who is Gloria Steinem by Sarah Fabiny / Illustrated by Max Herenrother

"As a field reporter in the 1960s, Gloria Steinem worked hard to dig up important stories. She went undercover to expose the grim realities of gender inequality in America. As her message continued to grow, she became the spokeswoman of the women’s liberation movement and created the feminist publication, Ms. magazine. Steinem continues to speak and write about women and women’s roles in media and politics."