Join us in celebrating the arrival of Indomitable, Brown University's most recent public art work and mascot, during homecoming weekend!
A conversation with artist Nick Bibby, creator of Indomitable. Brown University's most recent public art installation and mascot, Indomitable stands on Ittleson Quadrangle next to the Nelson Fitness Center.
The David Winton Bell Gallery will present a symposium in conjunction with the opening of Vincent Valdez: The Strangest Fruit on October 18, 2013 from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. The Strangest Fruit, Valdez's new series of ten large-scale paintings, references the lynching of Latinos in the United States and metaphorically illustrates the persecution and oppression felt by contemporary Latino Americans. Monica Muñoz Martinez, Daniel Hernandez, and Vincent Valdez will respond to the works and the histories and contemporary experiences that fostered them. An opening reception will follow at 6:30 pm.
Directed by Rory Kennedy '91. Running time: 78 min.
Followed by a conversation between Joshua Neves, Department of Modern Culture and Media, Brown University, and Jo-Ann Conklin, David Winton Bell Gallery
The familiar and disturbing pictures of torture at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison raise many troubling questions: How did torture become an accepted practice at Abu Ghraib? Did U.S. government policies make it possible? How much damage has the aftermath of Abu Ghraib had on America's credibility as a defender of freedom and human rights around the world?
Acclaimed filmmaker Rory Kennedy ‘91 looks beyond the headlines to investigate the psychological and political context in which torture occurred in the documentary Ghosts of Abu Ghraib.
Ghosts of Abu Ghraib features both the voices of Iraqi victims (interviewed in Turkey after arduous attempts to meet with them) and guards directly involved in torture at the prison. Conducted by Kennedy, these remarkably candid, in-depth interviews shed light on the abuses in an unprecedented manner. Through these interviews, the film traces the events and the political and legal precedents that led to the scandal, beginning with the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.
While the White House and Pentagon claimed that the situation at Abu Ghraib was "a kind of animal house on the night shift," other on-site participants and observers maintain that the abuses at Abu Ghraib were part of a general pattern of a "gloves off" interrogation policy that had been put in place after 9/11.
Ghosts of Abu Ghraib strongly suggests that, far from being an unauthorized, isolated event by rank-and-file soldiers acting on their own initiative, the physical and psychological torture employed at the prison was an inevitable outgrowth of military and government policies that were implemented in a climate of fear and chaos, inadequate training and insufficient resources.
Ghosts of Abu Ghraib is a Moxie Firecracker Films production of an HBO Documentary Film; directed and produced by Rory Kennedy; produced by Liz Garbus; written and produced by Jack Youngelson; director of photography, Tom Hurwitz; editor, Sari Gilman;
Rory Kennedy, co-founder and co-president of Moxie Firecracker Films, is one of the nation's most prolific independent documentary filmmakers, focusing on issues such as poverty, domestic abuse, human rights and AIDS. Kennedy's work has been featured on numerous broadcast and cable outlets, including HBO, A&E, MTV, Lifetime and PBS. She has directed and produced more than 20 films, including the HBO specials "Indian Point: Imagining the Unimaginable," which examines the potential for a nuclear disaster in New York City's backyard; "Pandemic: Facing AIDS," a five-part series that follows the lives of people living with AIDS throughout the world (nominated for two primetime Emmy® Awards); "American Hollow," which documents an Appalachian family caught between tradition and the modern world (nominated for a Non-Fiction Primetime Emmy® Award and Independent Spirit Award); and "A Boy's Life," about the troubling forces shaping the life of a young child in impoverished Mississippi.
The David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University will present a symposium entitled Art and War in Iraq on Friday, April 5, 2013 from 12:15-5:30pm in the List Art Center Auditorium. The symposium marks the opening of the gallery's spring exhibitions— the American premier of The Ashes Series by Iraqi-American artist Wafaa Bilal and I am Sorry It is Difficult to Start by American artist Daniel Heyman. An opening reception for the exhibitions will follow the symposium from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. In addition, a screening of Rory Kennedy’s documentary film entitled Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, will be held on April 18, at 5:30 pm in the List Art Center Auditorium.
About Art and War in Iraq
Ten years since the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom and twenty-three years since the first Gulf War, the ramifications of the armed invasions and occupations of the Republic of Iraq by the United States continue to be felt by the Iraqi people as well as throughout the Middle East and the world. Amidst these fraught conflicts, artists have offered responses to the complexities of war and the challenges of its aftermath. The Art and War in Iraq symposium brings together American, Iraqi, and Middle Eastern artists, scholars, and critics to address the impacts of the wars in Iraq and the wider conflicts in the Middle East, with special attention to contemporary artistic practices in Iraq and its diaspora.
Videos of presentations
Wafaa Bilal, Artist and Assistant Arts Professor, Photography, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
Lecture: Making the Invisible Visible
Daniel Heyman, Artist and Lecturer, Rhode Island School of Design, and Critic, Princeton University
Lecture: The Iraqi Portraits
Meir Wigoder, School of Communication, Sapir College, Sderot and the Faculty of the Arts, Tel Aviv University
Lecture: The Intermediary-Spaces of Wafaa Bilal's The Ashes Series
Susanne Slavick, Artist and Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Art, Carnegie Mellon University
Lecture: Out of Rubble
Nada Shabout, Associate Professor of Art History and Director of Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute (CAMCSI), University of North Texas
Moderator for final panel discussion
Support for the Art and War in Iraq is provided by Brown University’s Woods Lectureship,Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Department of Modern Culture and Media, and Creative Arts Council
About Zhang Zanbo
Independent documentary filmmaker Zhang Zanbo was born in the 1970s, and earned his master’s degree in film directing from the Beijing Film Academy in 2005. His films have been screened at many international film festivals in China and abroad.
- Falling From the Sky (2009)
- A Song of Love, Maybe (2010)
- The Interceptor from My Hometown（2011）
- My grandfather's address in Taipei (2010)
- Red White and Blue（2011）
- What We Talk About When We Talk About Sex（2011）
- Disappear in the green grass, dried grass and duckweed（2011）
- Righteous Flame（2011）