10.18.17 Human Rights Film Series – Finding Oscar

2017-2018 Human Rights Film Series
Aesthetics & Politics
Art History & Human Rights

presents

Finding Oscar

(2017, Director Ryan Suffern)

WEDNESDAY, October 18, 2017
4:00 – 6:00pm

Konover Auditorium
Dodd Center
University of Connecticut

 

Free Admission

 


Harvard University professor Kirsten Weld, specialist in the Guatemalan civil war (1960-1996), will speak in conversation with UConn professor of Human Rights and Visual Culture, Michael Orwicz. Weld and Orwicz will talk informally about the Guatemalan government’s genocidal war against its own citizens, and the role of visual culture in bringing that genocide to world attention.


Finding Oscar PosterIn a forgotten massacre during Guatemala’s decades-long civil war, a young boy was spared, only to be raised by one of the very soldiers who killed his family. Nearly 30 years after the tragedy, it will take a dedicated team – from a forensic scientist to a young Guatemalan prosecutor – to uncover the truth and bring justice to those responsible…by finding the missing boy named Oscar.

9.27.17 Thomas W. Smith: Human Rights and War through Civilian Eyes

12:15 – 1:45pm – Colloquium:
“Counting the Costs of the War in Syria”
Humanities Institute
(Library 4th Floor)
Lunch will be served

4:30 – 6:00 – Public Lecture:
“Human Rights and War through Civilian Eyes”
Konover Auditorium
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

Thomas W. Smith is Professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida

Co-Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, the Humanities Institute, the Human Rights Institute, and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.

8.29.17 Statement from the Director of the Dodd Center

Dear Friends of the Dodd Center,

President Susan Herbst, in her welcome message today to the university community, reiterated UConn’s commitment to upholding the core values of diversity, inclusion, and democracy.  Earlier this month, Pres. Herbst responded to the white supremacist attacks in Charlottesville with a denunciation of the “poisonous ideas and attitudes” that fueled those attacks.  We at the Dodd Center couldn’t agree more and are fully participating in the planned Vigil for Memory and Justice to be held tomorrow evening at 7:30 on the Student Union Quad.  The vigil will provide a much needed moment of commemoration, reflection, and solidarity, but the work of resisting racism, hate, violence, and fascism, and defending democracy and human rights, will need to extend beyond that moment.

Thomas J. Dodd is famous for his work fighting Nazism in the courtroom at Nuremberg, but his long public career was framed by efforts to combat the noxious mix of racism, nationalism, and white supremacy at home.  Prior to departing for Germany, Dodd worked as Special Assistant to the US Attorney General t to prosecute violent Ku Klux Klan members in South Carolina.  In his final years in the Senate, he was principle sponsor of the 1968 Gun Control Act, which he pressed for after the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The founding of the Dodd Center in 1995 was likewise a signal that the struggle against hatred and bigotry did not end with the convictions at Nuremberg and could not be won with courtroom victories alone.  Speaking at our dedication, Elie Weisel called on the newly opened the Dodd Center—and by extension, the University—to take responsibility for the continued struggle against hatred.  For Weisel, the incomparable witness to the Holocaust, the only remedy for hatred was education and memory.  “So what do we do today to the memory of Nuremberg?” he asked, “We learn, we teach, in other words, we share. In other words still, we believe that that memory must open a channel to human rights.”

As the current Director of the Dodd Center, I take this charge seriously and promise to redouble our efforts here to resist the forces that would sow fear, division, and violence in our society.  As a space, the Dodd Center will endeavor to ensure the security of all who come from threats of violence and intimidation.  Through our programs and partnerships, the Dodd Center will also work to instill as sense of belonging in our community, regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual identity, nationality, immigration status, or social class.  In this consequential hour, the Dodd Center’s resources and efforts in the field of human rights, like those of the broader University, must be placed on the arc of history such that it bends ever so slightly more toward justice.

In solidarity and hope,
Glenn Mitoma
Director, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

9.14.17 Ned Lamont: Fake News & Real Wars

Join
Ned Lamont

for a discussion of Fake News and Real Wars

THURSDAY, September 14, 2017
6:30 – 8:30pm

Konover Auditorium
Dodd Center

Free Admission


 

Ned Lamont PicNed Lamont is Chairman of Lamont Digital Systems, a privately held company which invests in new media start-ups, and he is founder of Campus TeleVideo which provides telecommunications services to over one million college students on 300 college campuses. He is also a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT.  He previously taught at Yale School of Management, where he serves on the Board of Advisors, and the Harvard Institute of Politics, where he serves on the Dean’s Council.

Ned was the Democratic candidate of US Senate from Connecticut in 2006. He is past Chairman of the Investment Advisory Council, overseeing the Connecticut State pension funds. He currently serves on the Board of Mercy Corp, a $400 million NGO which focuses on economic development and entrepreneurship in developing countries. He is also on the Foreign Policy Leadership Council for the Brookings Institution, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and on the boards of the Connecticut Council on Education Reform and The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

9.13.17 Human Rights Film Series: Chile, Obstinate Memory

2017-2018 Human Rights Film Series
Aesthetics & Politics
Art History & Human Rights

presents

Chile, Obstinate Memory

(1998, Director Patricio Guzmán)

WEDNESDAY, September 13, 2017
4:00 – 6:00pm

Konover Auditorium
Dodd Center
University of Connecticut

Featuring a post-show discussion with
Robin Greeley
Professor of Art and Art History
Free Admission


Chile Obstinate Memory Photo

CHILE, OBSTINATE MEMORY visits with Chileans who experienced the bloody coup by General Augusto Pinochet’s army first-hand (some of whom are seen in Guzmán’s landmark 1975 film The Battle of Chile). Survivors reminisce as they watch that film, recognizing lost comrades and recalling their courage, gaiety and love of life. Those who were not killed during the coup itself were crowded into the National Stadium in Santiago, where many were tortured, disappeared, and never seen again. Survivors talk about the terror that characterized the Pinochet regime until the dictator was finally obliged to relinquish power.

Art historian and Latin American specialist, Robin Greeley, will speak briefly about Guzman’s film and the role of film and the visual arts in catalyzing Chile’s ongoing reckoning with the brutal Pinochet military dictatorship (1973-1990). As Obstinate Memory reveals, procedures of memory and forgetting regarding massive human rights abuses continue to be terrains of political struggle in Chile today. An open question and answer discussion will follow.

2017 Sackler Lecture featuring Albie Sachs

Sackler Logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Albie Sachs


 

An evening with South African
human rights icon

Albie Sachs

and filmmaker Abby Ginzberg

Screening of Soft Vengeance:
Albie Sachs and the New South Africa

followed by discussion with
Justice Sachs and Ms. Ginzberg

—–

Monday, September 11, 2017
4:00pm

Konover Auditorium
Thomas J. Dodd Research Center
University of Connecticut

Reception to follow

Free and open to the public


 

 

 

 

The Honorable Albie Sachs

Albie Sachs is a retired Justice of the South African Constitutional Court. His career in human rights activism began in 1955 at the age of seventeen when, as a second year law student at the University of Cape Town, he took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign. During the next 11 years, Justice Sachs worked as an activist and lawyer defending individuals targeted by apartheid laws. After several bouts of detention and solitary confinement, Justice Sachs went into exile in 1966.

 

In 1988, while working as a law professor in Mozambique, a bomb placed in Justice Sachs’ car by South African security agents resulted in the loss of his right arm and the sight of one eye. After recovering from the bomb blast, Justice Sachs devoted himself to preparations for a new democratic constitution for South Africa. Following the first democratic elections in 1994, President Nelson Mandela appointed Justice Sachs to the newly established Constitutional Court, where he served for 15 years.

 

Since his retirement from the Court in 2009, Justice Sachs has been a frequent visiting professor at universities and law schools throughout the United States and has served as an advisor on matters of constitutional law. A prolific author, Justice Sachs has won two Alan Paton Awards, for Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter (1991) and The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law (2009). His latest book, published with Wits University Press is We, the People: Insights of an activist judge.

Ms. Abby Ginzberg

Filmmaker Abby Ginzberg has been producing and directing award-winning documentary films for nearly three decades. Her work has focused on character-driven stories, racial and gender discrimination and social justice issues, and has been screened at film festivals and broadcast on public television networks nationally and internationally.

 

Her most recent feature-length documentary, SOFT VENGEANCE: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa, was an official selection at IFP in 2013 and premiered at Full Frame in the US. Currently the film is being screened at festivals internationally, including the Berkshire International Film Festival, AFI Docs in Washington, DC, and the Durban International Film Festival. It won the People’s Choice Award from the Vancouver South African Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best International Documentary from the Encounters Film Festival in South Africa.

 

Abby is the President of the Berkeley Film Foundation, which has given over $700,000 to local filmmakers in the past six years. She is on the Board of Advisors for The Impact Fund; the Thelton Henderson Center for Social Justice at UC Berkeley Law School and the Yale Law School Visual Advocacy Project. She has received a Champion of Justice award from the National Lawyers Guild and was selected as a Gerbode Foundation Fellow in 2008.


Soft Vengeance Poster

SOFT VENGEANCE is set against the dramatic events leading to the overthrow of the apartheid regime in South Africa and focusses on the lawyer, writer, art lover and freedom fighter Albie Sachs.  The human rights activist was imprisoned in solitary confinement in Cape Town, tortured through sleep deprivation and forced into exile. In 1988, he was blown up by a car bomb set by the South African security forces in Maputo, Mozambique, which cost him his right arm and the sight of one eye, but miraculously he survived and after a long year of rehabilitation in England, he recovered.  Returning to South Africa following the release of Nelson Mandela, Albie helped write the new Constitution and was then appointed as one of the first 11 judges to the new Constitutional Court.

SOFT VENGEANCE has been screening at film festivals around the world and has won the audience award for Best International Documentary at the Encounters Film Festival and the Vancouver South African Film Festival.  It has also received the Grand Prize Humanitarian Award from the Accolade Film Awards.  After premiering at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, it also screened at AFI Docs; DOCNYC, Movies that Matter and the Durban Film Festival in South Africa.  The film also screened at key international Jewish film festivals.

The film is executive produced by Alfre Woodard, who also serves as narrator.  Abby Ginzberg is the producer and director, Ken Schneider is the Editor and Co-Producer and Rick Goldsmith is the Consulting Producer.

4.11.17 Human Rights Film Series: Night School

Night School Image

Join us for a screening of

Night School

(2016, Director Andrew Cohn)

TUESDAY, April 11, 2017
4:00 – 6:00pm

Konover Auditorium
Dodd Center
University of Connecticut

Featuring a post-show discussion with

Andrew Cohn
Emmy Award-Winning Director of Night School

Free Admission


NIGHT SCHOOL is a feature vérité documentary investigating adult education and the dropout epidemic plaguing inner-city America. The film offers an inside look at a cutting-edge high school located in one of the most violent neighborhoods in America, and the brave students who attend it. NIGHT SCHOOL closely follows three students over the course of the 2014-2015 school year, as they attempt to improve their lives and confront their fears about education. Following students with significant personal challenges, NIGHT SCHOOL is not just a film about adult education, but an intimate look at the roadblocks facing many underprivileged individuals as they attempt to move upward in society. In a place where simply surviving often trumps education, these students boldly challenge the notion that folks at the bottom are takers, not makers.

In 2005, a study found that the Indianapolis public schools had the lowest graduation rate of any large American city, with only 30 percent of freshmen graduating on time. In 2013, the average high school graduation rate in the nation’s 50 largest cities was just 53 percent. In inner-city Cleveland, for example, only 38 percent of high school freshmen graduated within four years, compared with 80 percent in the Cleveland suburbs. Nationwide, 76% of African American students will attend a failing school at some point. NIGHT SCHOOL is an intimate look at the face of the working poor and those working to empower themselves to move upward in society. Each year in America, it is becoming harder and harder for those at the bottom of society to move to the top, as upward mobility has virtually come to a stand still. More than three million students in the United States drop out of highschool every year – 8,000 students per day – one student every 26 seconds. After dropping out, these students are ineligible for almost 90% of jobs in the United States and account for more than 75% of crimes committed. It’s estimated that high school dropouts cost America about 6.6 billion dollars in potential GDP growth annually.

Is the American Dream still alive for those willing to work and sacrifice for it? This is the essential question NIGHT SCHOOL asks.


Sponsored by
The Human Rights Institute
The Department of Curriculum & Instruction
The Teacher Preparation Program
The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

3.21.17 Human Rights Film Series: We Still Live Here

We Still Live Here Poster

Join us for a screening of

WE STILL LIVE HERE

(2010, Director Anne Makepeace)

TUESDAY, MARCH 21, 2017
4:00 – 6:00pm

Konover Auditorium
Dodd Center
University of Connecticut

Featuring a post-show discussion with

JESSIE LITTLE DOE BAIRD
Project Founder, Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project

Free Admission


We Still Live Here – Âs Nutayuneân tells the amazing story of the return of the Wampanoag language, a language that was silenced for more than a century.  The Wampanoag Indians’ forebears ensured the survival of the first English settlers in America – the ‘Pilgrims,’ and lived to regret it. A century ago, after nearly 300 years of contact, their language virtually disappeared. Now, spurred on by an indomitable Wampanoag woman named Jessie Littledoe Baird, recent winner of a MacArthur genius award for her unprecedented linguistic work, the Wampanoag are bringing their language and their culture back to life.
Like many Native American stories, this one begins with a vision. Years ago, Jessie Little Doe, a young Wampanoag social worker, began having recurring dreams: familiar-looking people from another time addressing her in an incomprehensible language.  Jessie was perplexed and a little annoyed– why couldn’t they speak English? Later, she came to believe that they were speaking Wampanoag, a language no one had used for more than a century. These events sent her on an odyssey that would uncover hundreds old documents written in Wampanoag, lead her to a Masters in Linguistics at MIT with Noam Chomsky, and result in her accomplishing something that had never been done before – bringing a language with no Native speakers alive again. Her six-year-old daughter, Mae Alice, is the first Native speaker in a century.
The film interweaves contemporary verité scenes of language reclamation with commentary and expressionistic animation that reveal dark moments in New England history– epidemics, missionary pressures, land loss, and the indenture of Native children – that nearly obliterated Wampanoag culture Ruth Lingford’s devastatingly powerful animation provides powerful visuals as Wampanoags recount these horrific events. The film ends on a hopeful note, with an image of Jessie’s youngest daughter, the first Native speaker in a century.


Sponsored by
The Human Rights Institute
The Department of Curriculum & Instruction
The Teacher Preparation Program
The Thomas J. Dodd Research Center

3.20.17 Beyond the Field: Jessica Luther on College Football and the Politics of Rape

Monday, March 20, 2017
4:00 – 6:00pm
Konover Auditorium

Jessica Luther is a freelancUnsportsmanlike Conducte writer and journalist who primarily focuses on sports violence off the field as well as college football and sexual assault. Her book, Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape, covers the vast number of sexual assault cases directly related to athletic departments on college campuses across the United States. While Luther has primarily focused on sexualized violence within the athletic world, the knowledge she possesses regarding this subject matter allows her to delve into the intricacies of this complex issue that is prevalent throughout college campuses and our society.


The Beyond the Field: Social Issues in Sport Lecture Series is sponsored by the Sport Management Program

For more information contact beyondthegamelecture@gmail.com

 

2.27.17 Moral Injury after War: Remembrance, Recovery, and Reconciliation

Monday, February 27, 2017
5:00 – 6:30pm
Konover Auditorium

Presentations by
Joe Brett
&
David Wood*

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Wood and decorated veteran Joseph Brett expose a little-known yet universal truth about brave warriors. Exemplary acts of courage often turn into self-doubt and confusion after war, resulting in “moral injury.”

*Book signing by David Wood from 6:30-7:00pm

Free and open to the Public


David WoodDavid Wood has covered war and conflict around the world for more than 35 years. His second book, What Have we Done: the Moral Injury of our Longest Wars, is based on his deep reporting in Iraq and Afghanistan and on veterans after they return. Wood is the senior military correspondent for The Huffington Post, where his series on severely wounded veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

As a Washington-based correspondent since 1980, Mr. Wood has reported on national security issues at the White House, Pentagon and State Department, and has covered conflicts in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Central America. He has accompanied U.S. military units in the field many times, both on domestic and overseas training maneuvers. He is a Future of War Fellow at New America.

 

 


Joe BrettJoseph Brett has been a veterans’ champion since his military service in Vietnam. He speaks on a range of veterans’ issues and volunteers his experience to assist in recovery from PTSD and moral injury. He is vice president of the Veterans Heritage Project, an Arizona 501c3 which connects students in 25 high schools with veterans. Their stories are put into books that are sent to the Library of Congress.

Mr. Brett created and co-hosted the podcast radio shows Veterans Heritage Hour, and Front and Center USA, recorded at Arizona State University with guests from the New America-ASU collaboration on the Center on the Future of War. He also produced two veteran-centric films at Scottsdale Community College Film School. Mr. Brett holds a Master’s Degree with a focus on International Development from Harvard’s Kennedy School and has worked in Indonesia and the former Soviet Union.

 


Two adjacent exhibits by photographer Robin Albarano and co-curator Jordan Kiper bring attention to the issues of moral wounds and veteran legacies after war. “A Legacy of Veteran Expressions after War” and “Recovery and Reconciliation after the Yugoslav Wars” will be on exhibit until February 28 and March 14, respectively. Brett and Kiper are currently undertaking a reconciliation project with Yugoslav veterans.


Sponsored by the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, Human Rights Institute, UConn Humanities Institute, the Humility and Conviction in Public Life Project, the Department of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, the Department of Philosophy, and the James Barnett Chair of Humanistic Anthropology.