Gender & Women’s Studies Program to host film series

Brittiny Moore

A film series at WKU will highlight the South African struggle to end apartheid.

The seven-part series “Have You Heard from Johannesburg” will be screened from Sept. 28 to Oct. 15 in Cherry Hall, Gary Ransdell Hall and on the Glasgow campus free of charge.

Through a partnership with the Office of International Programs, the Gender & Women’s Studies Program is hosting the film series for this year’s International Year of South Africa.

The event will also include a visit from award-winning documentarian and filmmaker Connie Field, whose work has won a Primetime Emmy, the Sundance Grand Jury Prize, two International Documentary Association awards and two Academy Award nominations.

Kristi Branham, director of the Gender & Women’s Studies Program, said Field will discuss filmmaking, how to choose subjects and her experience with making the “Have You Heard from Johannesburg” series.

“This is probably a very hard story to try to tell because it’s a long history with a lot of players at the local, national and global scale,” Field said.

Andrea Cheney, the assistant director of the International Programs office, said programming and events create unique opportunities to connect students to scholars and other experts.

Branham hopes students will take this opportunity to learn about apartheid and oppression in South Africa as well as the country’s history.

“Any opportunity like this on a university campus is fantastic,” Branham said.“The opportunity to meet individuals who have made significant contributions to our social, cultural and political world is priceless.”

Each part of the film provides a chronological look at South Africa’s struggle to end apartheid.

“Young students don’t know about apartheid in South Africa,” Branham said. “This is a very important historical event, and the ramifications of it are not limited to the borders of South Africa.”

Students will also learn about filmmaking — specifically, women in filmmaking. Branham believes women in film and documentaries are not as represented as men.

“We can’t separate gender from issues of race, class, nationalism and oppression,” Branham added. “Your gender is but one component of your identity, and these are issues covered in the film.”

Students, faculty and staff don’t have to attend every session to participate in the series.

For those who are unable to attend, all seven parts of the film are available to stream on the WKU Libraries Kanopy database.

For more information about the events of the film series, see the WKU Gender & Women’s Studies website.