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Feb 10th
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blog_slug"The work you will see, hear, and experience is the culmination of an intense two years as our students immersed themselves in documentary traditions and craft, scholarly research and analysis and storytelling," Renee Tajima-Peña, professor and graduate director of the social documentation program, said on UCSC's website, news.ucsc.edu.

Tajima-Peña, also announced on news.ucsc.edu that beginning next fall, the program, which has been part of the community studies department in the Social Sciences division since it was founded in 2005, will join the Film and Digital Media department in the Arts Division.

The social documentation program is a two-year graduate-level program leading to a Master of Arts degree, providing students with a chance to develop expertise in various documentary mediums, including film and video, audio, photography, and digital media.

This year is the fifth annual SocDoc Graduate Exhibition, the second to be held at the Del Mar. After last year's packed screening, the exhibition is moving to the larger downstairs theater for this year’s and will feature six video documentaries, each approximately 30 minutes long. These include: Whistlin’ Dixie: Queer Sounds, New South by Meredith Heil; The Unique Ladies by Gloria Morán; Paved With Good Intentions by Natalie Rold; My Fa’aSamao by Ursula Siataga and Kate Trumbull's Abaayo (Sister).

In Whistlin’ Dixie: Queer Sounds, New South, Meredith Heil takes a road trip to the South in search of Southern musicians who are queer activists, creating independent music, promoting acceptance, and celebrating queer visibility. Heil's film, which she says is “organized like a mixed tape,” investigates the historical relationship between Southern music and identity politics while challenging the viewer's assumptions about life in the South.

“It's an issue people can connect with and also be surprised by," says Heil. "[the music] is low-fi indie, it shows you don't need a record deal to make a difference, people need to look within their own communities to inspire change, instead of feeling like they have to pick up and move."

The first year of the Master's program is spent planning their projects followed by a summer of production and then a year of shaping and editing in post-production. Heil, who had never before spent two years working on a single project, says the process was challenging but well worth it.

"Working with the faculty and getting their input and viewing other students work and having them view mine and give feedback was incredible," she says.

The graduate exhibition also features ElShelleh (The Guys), Bridgette Auger's photography and sound multimedia video that follows four Iraqi refugees, all friends, as they search for direction and purpose in their new home, El Cajon, California. ElShelleh will be at the Michealangelo June 3 – 26 with an opening reception on Friday, June 3.

ElShelleh (The Guys) is being shown as part of Home Interrupted: Artifacts of Iraqi Displacement at Michealangelo Gallery. This exhibition features a projection of ElShelleh, prints of photographs from the project on the walls and approximately 50 paintings by Iraqi refugee artists. The paintings, which are at Michaelangelo Gallery and Laili restaurant, are available for purchase. The gallery will donate all proceeds to A Plate For All, an organization that gives direct food aid to Iraqi refugees living in northeastern Syria (aplateforall.org).

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

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