On August 14, 2020, we spoke with Beth Ann Kennedy, artistic/managing director of the Bozeman Film Celebration, about how she came to create the BZN International Film Festival, whose first season was in June of 2018. Her training in speech, music, dance and the dramatic arts, from the early 1970s, as well as her decades of experience acting, directing and producing in theater and film, contributed to her success in bringing to Bozeman what has become an annual Film Festival. Her excellent interpersonal skills and work with business and international government leaders, educators, entertainment celebrities, musicians, choreographers and thousands of American youths, prepared her for the gargantuan effort of coordinating the many people and jobs required in bringing a film festival into reality. After only its second year, the BZN International Film Festival was listed by Film Freeway among the top 100 festivals in the world. We asked her about her experiences, challenges, and goals over the past three years, and about re-creating the festival during a pandemic. Our conversation in a garden includes commentary from the neighborhood birds and dogs.
Members of the 2019 BZN International Film Festival Staff
Some of the 2020 BZN International Film Festival Staff, dutifully socially distancing. Beth Ann Kennedy in white top at center.
This special edition of Forthright Radio for August 26, 2020, celebrates the Centennial of the signing of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution on August 26, 1920, after the very long, very hard struggle by women of different races and backgrounds to win the right to vote.
As our guest, Professor Martha S. Jones reminds us, this struggle is not over.
Martha S. Jones is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at The Johns Hopkins University. She is a legal and cultural historian, whose work examines how black Americans have shaped the story of American democracy.
Professor Jones is the author most recently of Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All, which will be published by Basic Books on September 8, 2020.
Her other books include Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America (2018), winner of numerous prestigious awards, and All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture 1830-1900, and a coeditor of Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women.
Professor Jones currently serves as a Co-president of the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians, and on the Executive Board of the Society of American Historians.
Other articles relating to the struggle for suffrage or pertinent to this interview include:
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, and First Partner of California Jennifer Siebel Newsom’s newest documentary is The Great American Lie. The film exposes social and economic immobility, viewed through the lens of our gendered values.
After the response to her first film, Miss Representation, which came out in 2011, Jennifer Siebel Newsom created The Representation Project.
Our guest today on Radio Goes to the Movies is Soraya Chemaly. She is the Executive Director of The Representation Project, which has produced two more feature length documentaries examining the harmful impacts of the role gender exerts in our culture for both males and females, as shown in the second film, The Mask You Live In.
The third film, which is being screened at the 2020 BZN International Film Festival, is THE GREAT AMERICAN LIE.
Soraya Chemaly is an award-winning writer, activist, and media critic. She writes and speaks frequently on topics related to social justice, free speech, violence, and technology. The former director and co-founder of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project, she has long been committed to expanding women’s civic and political participation and the power of socially transformative storytelling.
Her work as a writer, activist, and organizer is featured widely in media, books, and academic research. She is the author of the seminal book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger.
Soraya currently serves on the national boards of the Women’s Media Center, Women in Journalism, and the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project. We spoke with her on August 12, 2020.
Newsome interviewing journalist Charles M. Blow for The Great American Lie
Here is the link to the article cited in the interview:
On the day that Henry Giroux finished his latest book, Race, Politics, and Pandemic Pedagogy: Education in a Time of Crisis, he graciously joined us for an interview. It will be published in 2021.
Henry Giroux is Paulo Freire Distinguished Scholar in Critical Pedagogy and Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest at McMaster University.
He has written more than 56 books since his first book, Ideology, Culture and the Process of Schooling was published in 1981, and he has been generous with his time over the years as he published books such as Zombie Politics in the Age of Casino Capitalism; Disposable Youth: Racialized Memories, and the Culture of Cruelty; The Violence of Organized Forgetting: Thinking Beyond America’s Disimagination Machine; Disposable Futures: The Seduction of Violence in the Age of Spectacle; America at War with Itself; American Nightmare: The Challenge of US Authoritarianism; and The Terror of the Unforeseen.
We spoke with him on August 2, 2020 about the multiple crises with which we are faced.
Paul Pierson is the John Gross Professor of Political Science at UC Berkeley. LET THEM EAT TWEETS: HOW THE RIGHT RULES IN AN AGE OF EXTREME INEQUALITY is one of several books he has written with Jacob Hacker, who is director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and a Political Science Professor at Yale University. Their other books include American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper, Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class; Off Center: The Republican Revolution and The Erosion of American Democracy. Professor Pierson has also written many other books including the prize winning, Dismantling the Welfare State? Reagan, Thatcher and the Politics of Retrenchment.
Some articles referenced or relevant to the interview:
Patrick Cockburn is the winner of the Martha Gelhorn Prize, the James Cameron Prize, The Orwell Prize, Foreign Commentator of the Year numerous times. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Financial times and the Independent, and is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books.
His many books include Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein, written with his brother, Andrew, prior to the war in Iraq, and republished as Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession; The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq; Muqtada: Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq; The Rise of Islamic State: Isis and the New Sunni Revolution;The Age of Jihad: Islamic State; and The Great War for the Middle East.
His latest book is WAR IN THE AGE OF TRUMP: THE FALL OF ISIS, THE BETRAYAL OF THE KURDS, THE CONFLICT WITH IRAN to be released by OR Books on July 7, 2020.
In this interview, we began by discussing the impact on the region of the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani by the Trump Administration on January 3, 2020.
The plight of the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, and their role in fighting the Islamist State, was discussed.
Patrick Cockburn’s intrepid journalism keeps us informed of the ever changing situation on the ground in the Middle East.
What happens to a representative democracy when one party is no longer committed to the foundational notion everyone must be represented, equally? This is one of the questions David Daley addresses in his latest book, UNRIGGED: HOW AMERICANS ARE BATTLING BACK TO SAVE DEMOCRACY.
David Daley is a senior fellow for FairVote and the author of Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy, which helped spark the recent drive to reform gerrymandering. Dave’s second book, Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy, chronicles the victories and defeats in state efforts to reform elections and uphold voting rights.
He is the former editor-in-chief of Salon.com, and the former CEO and publisher of the Connecticut News Project. He is a digital media fellow at the Wilson Center for the Humanities and the Grady School of Journalism at the University of Georgia. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, The Washington Post, The Guardian, New York magazine, the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, Rolling Stone. When writing for the Hartford Courant, he helped identify Mark Felt as the “Deep Throat” source for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
Some articles by David Daley or pertinent to this interview:
Margaret Klein Salamon is the founder and Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization, a volunteer-powered organization that is working to initiate a WWII-scale mobilization to rapidly transform our economy to protect humanity and the living world. In that role she has helped catalyze a burgeoning worldwide climate emergency movement. More than 1,500 cities and counties around the world have now passed climate emergency declarations based on the climate emergency policy framework that The Climate Mobilization has developed and championed.
Margaret has doctorate in clinical psychology and a BA in social anthropology. She is the author of The Transformative Power of Climate Truth and Leading the Public into Emergency Mode. Her latest book, Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth, has just been published by New Society Publishers.
Daniel Q. Gillian is Julie Beren Platt and Marc E. Platt Presidential Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests focus on racial and ethnic politics, political behavior, political institutions, public policy and the American Presidency.
Professor Gillion’s first book, The Political Power of Protest: Minority Activism and Shifts in Public Policy, demonstrates the influential role of protest to garner a response from each branch of the federal government, highlighting protest actions as another form of constituent sentiment that should be considered alongside public opinion and voting behavior.
His book, Governing with Words: The Political Dialogue on Race, Public Policy, and Inequality in America, demonstrates that historically, the political dialogue on race offered by presidents and congressional members alters the public policy process and shapes societal and cultural norms to improve the lives of racial and ethnic minorities, illustrating that mere words are a powerful tool for combating racial inequality in America.
Professor Gillian’s most recent book is THE LOUD MINORITY: WHY PROTESTS MATTER IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY, just published by Princeton University Press. It comes at a time when many of us have been confined to our homes for many weeks during this global pandemic and others protest, disregarding social distancing precautions and carrying rapid fire weapons to state capitals, protesting government stay at home orders. We asked him about this and more.
Here are links to some of the articles referenced in this interview:
Alan Hirsch’s latest book, A SHORT HISTORY OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CRISES: (AND HOW TO PREVENT THE NEXT ONE), has just been published by City Lights Books.
Alan Hirsch is an Instructor in the Humanities and Chair of the Justice and Law Studies program at Williams College. He is the author of a number of other books including Impeaching the President: Past, Present, and Future and For the People: What the Constitution Really Says About Your Rights (coauthored with Akhil Amar). He received his law degree from Yale Law School. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Newsday, and the Village Voice. He also serves as a trial consultant and expert witness on interrogations and criminal confessions, testifying around the nation.
He focuses on four presidential election crises that left the nation with no clear winner: those in the years 1800, 1824 & 1876, 2000, and he notes that in twelve elections, fully 20% of all presidential elections, were too close for comfort.