September 21, 2005

Seminar focuses on dictatorships, media, memory

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A series of film screenings and lectures is on tap at Southern Illinois University Carbondale Thursday and Friday, Sept. 22 and 23, as part of "Dictatorship, Media and Memory in the Southern Cone States."

The Global Media Research Center and the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts Cinémathèque Screening Program are sponsoring the event.

"It is an opportunity to bring together a group of experts in one place at one time for a concentrated look at this subject," John Downing, director of the Global Media Research Center, said. "At the time, our government supported these dictators. What, in the name of the war against terrorism, are we doing today that may, in the future, come back to bite us?"

Participating in the program are:

• Susana Kaiser, who teaches media studies and Latin American studies at the University of San Francisco. Her research focuses on communication, cultural/political memory and human rights. She will discuss her forthcoming book, "Postmemories of Terror," which explores young Argentineans' memories of the 1976-1983 dictatorship and how the generation deals with the legacy of the "dirty war."

• Sarah Boston. Boston's film, "Cruel Separation," depicts the experiences of four women caught up in the aftermath of the coup against President Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. An air force general's wife, the English widow of singer-songwriter Victor Jara, the wife of the missing

American journalist Charles Horman and Allende's own widow recount their experiences of imprisonment and torture, exile and the challenge of rebuilding a life.

• Silvia Malagrino, a Chicago-based artist and associate professor of art and design at the University of Illinois Chicago, is a native of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her innovative interdisciplinary work in multiple media, including photography, installation, video, sound and light projection, amalgamates critical thinking with poetry, and metaphor with documentation. She will present her film, "Burnt Oranges," which confronts the long-term effects and repercussions, personal and social, of Argentina's 1970s state terrorism.

• Luca Cruzat, who was born in Chile and lived in the U.S. since 1988, is pursuing a master's degree in fine arts at SIUC. Her recent prints are based on rats and mice — as animals that people may try to exterminate and as a metaphor for human behavior.

A screening of "Cruel Separation," followed by a question-and-answer session with the filmmaker, begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at University Place 8 (Kerasotes) theater.

Events on Friday, Sept. 23 are at the Student Center Auditorium. From 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. and again from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be a presentation about Kaiser's book and screening of the film, "Burnt Orange." A second screening of the film, "Cruel Separation" will take place from 2 to 4 p.m.

Admission to all events is free.

For more information, contact the Global Media Research Center at 618/453-6876 or visit the Web page at

Developing citizen-leaders with global perspectives is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2019.