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    Join filmmaker & educator Rhitu Basu (Nova Scotia, Canada) for a lecture & discussion centered on representational issues around race & culture in Hollywood films. Rhitu is Austin School of Film’s lead educator on Minority Lens course series, studying minority & global cinema.

    ABOUT THE EVENT—Antonio Gramsci, an Italian philosopher, described how Western societies have two spheres: the political and the cultural. The first is ruled by force; for example, by laws and law enforcement. But the cultural sphere exerts power in a different way: here, our ideas, values and beliefs are shaped by a dominant ideology. Cinema is a major form of cultural discourse. And the power and influence of Hollywood cinema, means that our ideas about the world are shaped by a very specific, American worldview. This in turn, has real world implications. For example, if we only ever see Muslims represented as irrationally violent, we might be more accepting of our government's wars in the Middle East. If we only ever see Black men as criminals, we might not question our policing system's brutality against them. If we see Indigenous people represented only as a "dying race" and colonialism a "past sin," we may not pay attention when our governments invade their sovereign lands to build pipelines.

    Popular cinema reflects dominant ideology, and as such, it is always political. It is therefore vital that we learn to view and read it critically.

    About Rhitu: Rhitu holds an MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin. She was born in India, raised in Zimbabwe, and lived in Texas for over 25 years. Rhitu recently moved to Nova Scotia, Canada and teaches film at NSCAD University there. Prior to her move, Rhitu was responsible for developing curricula and teaching at Austin School of Film with a focus on minority cinema and representation on film. She is excited to back for 2021 courses!

    Deadline to register: January 29, 2021.

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