Film festival focuses on non-violent resistance

first_imgPeace studies course material and film study will converge at the fifth annual ScreenPeace Film Festival, where attendees will share in the experiences of five nonviolent resistors from around the world. The festival, which begins Thursday and runs through Saturday, is co-sponsored by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. Hal Culbertson, executive director of the Kroc Institute, said this year’s festival theme of nonviolent resistance developed in response to the Arab Spring, a series of civil resistance movements in the Arab world that began in late 2010. “We thought there would be significant interest in the Arab Spring and its impact around the world,” Culbertson said. “We decided to make the theme of nonviolent resistance the centerpiece because we knew of several films that related to this.” The five films that will be shown over the course of the festival portray the stories of a varied cast of people: a Palestinian farmer, a Chinese artist and activist, a scholar of nonviolent resistance, an interracial American couple and an aspiring Algerian filmmaker. Alison Rice, associate professor of French and Francophone literatures, will introduce the last film of the weekend, “Normal!,” about a young Algerian filmmaker living and working when the Arab Spring protests begin in his country in the last days of 2010. “With these protests taking place, it’s like a documentary, but it’s not labeled a documentary,” Rice said. “It’s like a film within a film.” The film follows the struggles of the filmmaker as he tries to discern how to act appropriately in the midst of the protests, Rice said. “[It is] really about the dilemma of how to act when you’re in a societal system in a country where you do not agree with the way things are going,” she said. “How do you react, how do you respond effectively?” The film sends a message of solidarity, Rice said, and the feeling of “everyone participating in something together.” Rice was chosen to introduce “Normal!” for the ScreenPeace Festival because of her close connections with Algerian culture as a professor of French and Francophone literature, she said. “I also love the work the Kroc Institute does, and I am firmly behind the idea of peace studies, and I love film as well,” Rice said. “It was a perfect opportunity for me to respond to.” Culbertson said the Kroc Institute chooses films for the festival that will relate to the material the Peace Studies department is teaching in the classroom. “We designate films with our chief educational goals in mind and we try to complement our class discussions of peace with films that are particularly situated where conflict and peace issues are prominent,” he said. “It can address issues on a more local level and more in context than we often can in the classroom.” The festival also provides food for thought for others who may not know a great deal about peace issues around the world. “The real goal is to stimulate thought and reflection of peace issues around the world,” he said. “I think film as a medium is a wonderful way for people to learn about other cultures and contexts. It’s a different way of seeing peace issues played out.” The festival is free to attend, but tickets are required. For a full schedule of films and to obtain tickets, visit read more

How one night in Birmingham changed college football in the South

first_imgOn the other side of the field, USC head coach John McKay, entering his 11th season at the helm of the Trojans, had an equally impressive resume. McKay hardly ever fell below a .700 win percentage on his way to a 127-40-8 career record.  Alabama’s racial climate  Governing with an iron fist, Bryant expected nothing less than perfection from his athletes. Throughout his 25-year tenure at the helm of the Crimson Tide, Bryant amassed six national championships, 14 conference championships and 323 career wins. USC and Alabama met again to open the 1971 season. The game was much different this time, however. Not only was the game played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but the Trojans were bested in a 17-10 game by a now albeit barely integrated Crimson Tide. In a Los Angeles Times article by Jeff Prugh titled “USC-Alabama Proved More Than a Football Game” published two days afterwards, Prugh wrote about his experience witnessing the shift that had already begun among the Crimson loyals. “In some ways, slavery never ended,” said John Giggie, an African American history professor at the University of Alabama. “It just simply was transformed into a program of white supremacy.” It is impossible to deny that the game of football, a language Alabamians understood, served as a vehicle to aid in the Civil Rights’ efforts of great men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X to prove that skin color should never dictate our beliefs of an individual or race.  In hindsight  While lynchings, bombings and burnings were still prevalent in 1970, some players felt a sense of security solely because they were USC, and they were here to play football. In the ensuing years, Alabama football continued to integrate and by the 1980 season, the Crimson Tide’s roster featured as many African American players as any other elite collegiate football team. For the remainder of the Bryant era, Alabama failed to fall below a .667 winning percentage. The University of Alabama resisted integration until 1963, when Vivian Malone became one of two black students admitted that year. George Wallace, Alabama’s governor, attempted to block Malone’s entrance to the university. “We just had so many horses,” Jones said in a postgame interview with the Los Angeles Times. “These guys are all so good that it really doesn’t matter who we have out there.” The 1970 USC football team made its way to Alabama, and although the team was apprehensive about entering the unknown of the deep South, its focus was on winning a football game. “They saw us as a group of people that could maybe help make their lives better down there,” Jones said.  “You had those thoughts that [racially motivated violence] happens down here,” Jones said. “But we also had that feeling that we were absolved from that because we were USC, and this was more just football than it was the race thing.” In an environment so heavily influenced by beliefs on segregation, the USC-Alabama game became a critical meeting for the fate of collegiate football. Making the switch The face of the Trojans Though Jackson was a single, small speck in the massive dynasty that was Alabama football, Bryant’s decision was, for the most part, well-received by the Alabama community. Although he is mostly remembered for the awards he brought back to Tuscaloosa and his staggeringly great career record of 323–85–17, Bryant became the first head coach in the SEC to integrate a collegiate football team.  “[Winning] takes away a lot of the opinions people had about you going into the game, whether it is a race issue or a [talent issue],” Jones said. No matter who was elected during this era, the governor became a figurehead for a population that was resistant to change. Wallace had lost his first governor race to John Patterson due to Patterson’s segregation centric platform. Though the game started as a friendly showdown between two of the greatest collegiate football coaches of all time, it would later become an unexpectedly significant match.  Entering foreign territory While the team was traveling through Alabama, it was greeted by racial slurs and gawking stares from white members of the Alabama community, Jones said. Though it was met with criticism from the majority of Alabamians, USC’s fully-integrated football team offered a glimmer of hope for black Americans.  “Bear Bryant and my dad were the closest of friends,” J.K. said. “Bear and his wife stayed at our house all the time in the offseason. They’d be at our house a lot.” Sept. 12, 1970, was the first game of the season for USC and Alabama. At the time, the matchup was seen as a clash of two of the nation’s best collegiate football programs, and USC ended up routing Alabama 42-21. In hindsight, the game between Paul “Bear” Bryant’s all-white Crimson Tide and John McKay’s fully integrated Trojans, featuring its all-black backfield, served as a catalyst for the rapid integration of Southeastern Conference football programs. “When [Wallace] lost to Patterson, he swore that he would never lose a race again over black questions,” Giggie said. “So he came out very aggressively in the next election that he won on his ‘segregation now, forever’ campaign.” “[Alabama] hadn’t seen anyone like [Cunningham]: 6-foot-3, 210 to 215 pounds, [good] speed,” Jones said. “They were outmatched for someone like Cunningham coming through the holes that were wide [open].” But Bryant’s legend status wasn’t restricted to his university. To this day, Alabama has never had a professional sports team. Alabama football is the state’s professional sport. This setting allowed Tide coaches to become household names.  The face of the Tide The game’s spectators witnessed a blowout. The Trojans were bigger, stronger and faster. Cunningham posted 135 yards on 12 carries, topped off with two touchdowns en route to a 42-21 USC win. Jones dismantled the Alabama defense on bootleg keepers while aiding USC in a 559-offensive-yard effort, which  he heavily attributed to the strong talent among the Trojans. Donning a suit and tie with a houndstooth emblazoned fedora to accompany his 6-foot-3 stature, Paul “Bear” Bryant was, unmistakably, the face of Alabama football. Sam Cunningham blocks for Clarence Davis in the Trojans 1970 game against Alabama. (Photo courtesy of USC Athletics) The addition of an 11th regular season game in 1970 created a spare game on the schedule. The historic USC-Alabama game was born out of friendship.  Bryant also co-hosted the Bear Bryant Show, an hour-long weekly talk show. Although the show primarily analyzed Alabama football, Bryant also spoke about God, family and the country, furthering himself as an icon among both football fans and members of the Alabama community. Bryant’s show ran in the same time slot as NFL football yet consistently had better ratings than the live professional football games.  As a matter of fact, USC had its first black player in 1925 — guard Brice Taylor. McKay’s 1970 team was not only fully integrated, but it also featured USC’s all-black backfield, consisting of Cunningham at fullback, Jimmy Jones at quarterback and Clarence Davis at running back.   At this time, both the Trojans and Crimson Tide were widely respected as football powerhouses, but the teams could not be more different, as McKay’s Trojans sported a fully integrated squad.  “[My dad’s] view, in general, was that he truly didn’t care what color you were,” said J.K. McKay, John McKay’s son. “It didn’t matter. They were football players.” In 1970 and 1971, USC had its worst two seasons in nearly a decade, finishing 6-4 in both. Heading into the 1970 season, USC was highly regarded, coming off a 10-0-1 season and Rose Bowl win. Alabama was sporting its worst season in the Bryant era. Regardless, both teams were seen as football powerhouses. Players, coaches, football fans and analysts have had nearly 50 years to reflect on the historic game that took place that September night in Birmingham. At the time, it was football:  The University of Southern California versus the University of Alabama.  Jones believes that a crushing victory aided in alleviating some of the racially-driven preconceived notions many fans had. “He is a legend and probably was a legend even by that time,” said Ken Gaddy, the director of the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. “He was bigger than life, even at that time.” “If Coach Bryant was for it, then everybody else was pretty much for it too,” Gaddy said. “That made it easier for other people to accept and move forward.” “‘You know,’ said a man in a plaid shirt. ‘I sure bet the Bear wished he had two or three of them n—- boys on his team NOW. They were huge,’” the article read. “The reason [the University of] Alabama had resisted integrating itself was because this integration was seen as a bellwether for integration,” Gigge said. “If University of Alabama was to remain all white, that would be a sign, a symbol, of the state’s efforts to maintain segregation as normal, as customary, as effectively the law of the land.” “You see images on television, and the civil rights issues at that time were pretty intense. I understood that but never really thought about it,” Cunningham said. “My focus was to play a football game against a very good college football program.” Jones said that as the USC team bus navigated the streets in the predominantly black neighborhoods of Birmingham, people went out onto their lawns and porches to cheer and give well wishes to what was more than just a football team. Looking back at it, the game stood for much more — integration versus segregation. The following year, Bryant made the switch, as running back Wilbur Jackson, born and raised in Ozark, Ala., became the first black football player to play on a football scholarship at the University of Alabama.  Two years after the conclusion of the 14-year-long Civil Rights Movement, segregation was outlawed by the federal government, but in the Deep South, both political figures and a majority of the white population were still resistant to change. When USC ran out of the tunnel that September night, however, the Trojans were greeted by a stark white crowd, as black Americans were still not allowed to enter Legion Field. The black community didn’t let that stop them from watching the game that would ultimately lead to the SEC’s integration. “They were on rooftops and the hills where they could look into the stadium,” Jones said. Those close to the situation have a tendency to overstate the impact of USC and Cunningham’s effect on integration in the South. “You don’t realize at the time [that] it’s happening,” said Sam Cunningham, USC’s fullback from 1970 to 1972. “You realize a day later or a year later, and that’s what happened to me. I realized what we were involved in and how it was a special game.” Football is a game, but for one September night in Birmingham, it was so much more.last_img read more

‘There’s the Memphis we signed from PSV’ – fans pleased with £25m forward against League One side

first_img Memphis Depay replaced Juan Mata against Sheffield United 1 Man United fans were full of praise for Memphis Depay as the club squeezed past League One side Sheffield United. The Blades are four points off a play-off place in their division, but came close to forcing the Premier League giants into a replay.But Man United fans are just grateful the substitute was there to save the day, as he won the penalty Wayne Rooney converted.Here’s what a selection of them were saying after the game.last_img

Germany Mulls Easing Immigration Norms for Non-EU Skilled Workers

first_imgIn a bid to overcome the chronic shortage of skilled labor in the country, the German Cabinet is looking at a proposal to ease immigration and work permit process for skilled workers coming from outside the European Union.The German Interior, Labour and Economy ministries have agreed to recruit more foreign skilled labor to the country, Reuters reported on the basis of a paper it went through.If the recommendations mentioned in paper get the Cabinet’s approval, non-EU foreigner graduates and workers with vocational training will be allowed to come to Germany and look for a job within a certain period of time provided they fulfil the qualification and language related criteria.During the period of job search, immigrants will not be entitled to social welfare benefits. However, they will be allowed to take up jobs, for which they are overqualified, to get some money, according to the report.The paper proposes that the government will no longer insist that the companies prefer German citizens before looking at non-EU foreigners to fill vacancies. The other measures suggested in the paper are speeding up the qualification recognition procedures in Germany and a possible advertising campaign in selected countries, the news agency said.Citizens of the European Union are allowed to move freely in the bloc for labor purposes but that is not the case for workers from other nations. The new proposal may carry a positive chance for immigrant workers but its approval may turn into a sensitive issue due to the prevalence of anti-immigration sentiments in the country, where the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party has managed to gather public support on the basis of its hardline policy on the issue.Germany is facing a shortage of skilled labor and young workers who would be ready to take up on-the-job training for almost three and a half years. This shortage is causing a huge gap between the demand and supply of workforce in the country. The Federal Labour Office reported a record 1.2 million vacant positions in Germany, the report added.Germany wanted to fill the gap in the workforce with the help of over a million refugees who arrived in 2015, but was unable to do so as most of them did not possess good German-language skills or were unable to prove the required qualifications.Germany already has a “blue card” system that makes the hiring of foreign academics and professionals easier for companies. The EU blue card enables third-country nationals who are university graduates or who have a comparable qualification to receive a residence title for the purpose of employment suiting their qualification. It is a residence permit which, when issued for the first time, is valid for a maximum of four years.The number of qualified Indian professionals in Germany is witnessing a rise. There were 169,602 Indians in Germany in 2017, the Ministry of External Affairs told the Lok Sabha last year.In the first half of 2016, the top five nationalities that received the EU blue cards were India with 22.1 percent, followed by China (8.7 percent), the Russian Federation (7.9 percent), Ukraine (5.3 percent) and Syria (4.7 percent), according to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Related ItemsEmploymentEuropean UnionGermanylast_img read more