On June 18 2015, Dylann Roof, 21 years old, shot and killed nine African-Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. When Roof was apprehended, he wore the flags of Apartheid-Era South Africa and Rhodesia, former white supremacist settler colonial states in Southern Africa. Roof also had Confederate flags hung on his walls and frequented white power websites. These race based murders fueled an ongoing debate about Confederate symbolism and its usage in the private and public spheres. The Alternative Press Collection at the Archives & Special Collections is comprised of fringe publishing from both ends of the political spectrum such as White Patriot and Death to the Klan. The current debate around the Confederate flag draws on long standing uses of historical interpretation and cultural identity dating to the Civil War and Reconstruction era of 1861-1877. As demonstrated in this exhibition currently on display in the Archives through these selected materials from the Alternative Press, Northeast Children’s Literature and Labor collections, figures such as Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, abolitionists John Brown and Frederick Douglass serve as symbolic totems of heritage, spirituality and citizenship. Continue reading
My visit to South Africa on assignment for Global Affairs/UNESCO and Archives & Special Collections began in the first week of June in Johannesburg during an unusually cold winter (for South Africa). The purpose of the trip was to explore and convene on the archival landscape which had been mapped in 2000 through a partnership between the African National Congress (ANC) and the University of Connecticut. The initial archives project was funded by the Mellon Foundation to organize, describe and make accessible the ANC archives documenting its activities while in exile under Apartheid. These archives, located at the National Heritage and Cultural Studies Center (NAHECS) University of Fort Hare (UFH) in Alice, Eastern Cape, have been available in their reading room for public research since 2005. Between 2000 and 2005, UConn sent faculty, archivists, librarians and oral historians to UFH to hold training sessions and benefit from this skill sharing partnership. In conjunction, UFH sent archivists and librarians to receive training within the UConn libraries. Continue reading
The Title IX Coalition and The Graduate Employee Union/United Auto Workers Union will host a discussion and screening of the film The Hunting Ground, the ground breaking documentary that demonstrates the prevalence of sexual violence on college campuses and the lack of meaningful administrative response to victim-survivors.
The film engages with the Title IX struggles and the national movement across college campuses, which includes the University of Connecticut. After the film, a discussion will follow with students and faculty who have been part of the legal filings and ongoing social justice movements at UCONN.
THE HUNTING GROUND
THURSDAY, APRIL 9TH, 2015 AT 5:30PM
UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT, STORRS
SCHOOL OF NURSING, RM. WW16
–Matt Jones is a PhD candidate in the English department at the University of Connecticut. His work focuses on post-Enlightenment discourse in 18th- and 19th-century British literature. He has contributed to the processing and description of the Laurie S. Wiseberg and Harry Scoble Human Rights Internet and contributes research commentary on the collection to the Human Rights Archives Blog.
A lingering feeling of hopelessness permeated the old and young villagers of northern Burma under the SLORC – State Law and Order Restoration Council – regime of the 1980s and 1990s. The SLORC did not discriminate based on age, nor did the poor living conditions that became perpetuated under them. In interviews conducted with local children by Project Maje along the Burma – China border in 1991, multiple interviewees reported having already contracted malaria, theft of livestock by the Burmese government, and the early death of siblings. Nearly all of the children reported that fleeing from government forces brought them to the villages they now inhabit. A separate set of interviews with adults in the area revealed what treatment the children had to look forward to should they make it to adulthood. Adult interviewees related experiences of forced labor by the SLORC forces (called “portering”), SLORC agents requiring money or goods from traders on their way to market, and the torture of those too enfeebled to participate in forced labor. Each interview ended with the question of whether there was any hope for the future: the general answer was “no” with an occasional nod toward the desire for a true democracy. Continue reading
Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center
Admission is FREE
Come Hell or High Water (2014)
This film follows the painful but inspiring journey of Derrick Evans, a Boston teacher who moves home to coastal Mississippi when the graves of his ancestors are bulldozed to make way for the sprawling city of Gulfport. Over the course of a decade, Derrick and his neighbor stand up to powerful corporate interests and politicians and face ordeals that include Hurricane Katrina and the BP oil disaster in their struggle for self-determination and environmental justice.
Lulu Peng is a graduate student in the Communications Department at the University of Connecticut. She interned at the Archives & Special Collections in the fall of 2014. Her project utilized her skills in Mandarin Chinese to identify and describe content on China in the Laurie S. Wiseberg and Harry Scoble Human Rights Internet Collection.
The Collection is so extensive and to some extent, invaluable in that it records the human rights predicament and movements in different corners of the world. The correspondence, flyers, reports and publications altogether sketch a unique part of the human rights history. These materials, dating back to the late 70s, 80s and the early 90s, demonstrate each aspect of human rights struggle, against death penalty, extrajudicial execution, violence towards minorities, gender inequalities and so on. It is intriguing to observe the encounter of the essentially obscure history and the honest pieces that compose it, as shown in the letters written by the former Vice President of Taiwan, Lu Hsiu-lien to Laurie Wiseberg, and the letters to the Human Rights Internet (HRI) concerning the June Fourth Incident in Beijing 1989, for instance.
The first installment of the HRI Films Series will begin Wednesday, October 1st with the screening of Blood Rising: Daughters of Mexico. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmaker Mark McLoughlin and other invited speakers. Airing at 3:30-6:00pm in Konover Auditorium, Dodd Research Center.
Dates and titles announced for the Human Rights Institute Film Series 2014-2015. Find below, the link to a complete listing.
All films will be shown in Konover Auditorium, Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, at 4pm.
See you there!
As we have seen over the last 10 years, access to portable video devices has risen in the US as well as the world over. In 2014 alone, video footage of police brutality and homicide have overturned arrests and brought charges to those responsible. Often, human rights violations and atrocities are now being recorded by observers and activists who want their footage to be seen. WITNESS, a leading documentation advocacy organization, has produced a readily accessible document for how-to-film and archive footage for preservation and access.
Recently, head archivist and co-author of the Witness video archive, Yvonne NG, was interviewed on Democracy Now! regarding the most recent police brutality incidents in New York City and Ferguson, MO being promoted on social media.
Resources from Witness: http://witness.org/resources/