HIFF 2017 – Documenting Activism: The Early Days of the Native Hawaiian Movement

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On Sunday, November 5th, the ‘Ulu’ulu Archive presented Documenting Activism: The Early Days of the Native Hawaiian Movement at the 2017 Hawaii International Film Festival. A crowd ranging from kupuna to keiki gathered to see memories of the past unfold from the views of filmmaker’s camera. In her introduction to the film, the Cultural Collections Specialist and producer Heather Giugni warned the audience that because the film incorporated raw, unedited footage, the beginning may be a shaky.  The first few moments of Documenting Activism opened with an old documentary about Hawai`i being shown on an old tube television and comments being made in the background. If YouTube existed at the time, this segment could have been titled “Hawaiian Activists React to CBS Documentary about Hawai`i.” The sensationalized version of ancient Hawai`i was met with amused snorts from both the audience in the documentary and the audience in the theater. Everyone seemed to be thinking, “is this for real?”  When the narrator continued to explain that Hawai`i was a land of violence cloaked in the disguise of paradise, both audiences erupted in laughter when the narrator proclaimed that the western world finally brought peace to Hawai`i.
c32_29880 - FramegrabDespite the humor the activists found in the CBS documentary, they understood that as the first mainstream introduction of Hawai`i to American audiences, this documentary failed to represent the Hawaiian people, the land, and the culture that connected them both. To remedy this, activists and filmmakers came together and eventually produced the 1984 KITV program Mo`olelo o ka `Āina, which was one of the first commercial broadcasts to address Native Hawaiian issues from a Hawaiian perspective. Using Mo’olelo o ka `Āina as the foundation, Documenting Activism builds onto it by incorporating footage following the Protect Kaho`olawe `Ohana in their efforts to stop the military bombing of the island and re-establishing it as a sacred place. Together, activists and filmmakers alike preserved those first steps for the rights of Native Hawaiians.
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Following the showing of the film, the audience was treated to a panel discussion with filmmakers and the head archivist at ‘Ulu’ulu. They reminded the audience of a time before smartphones allowed anyone to record to their heart’s content, a time when video equipment was so expensive that only broadcasting channels could purchase it. That all changed when the first portable video recording technology was made available at affordable costs.  This new technology called out and resonated with the visionaries of artists and activists. As artists and activists, it was incredible for the filmmakers to be able to go out and film that first landing on Kaho`olawe, record George Helm singing in a backroom, or witness the passionate and feisty speeches at rallies.

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The panelists who shared their mana`o on the production include:

Stephen Kane-a-‘i Morse
Born and raised on O’ahu, Morse attended Maryknoll and Kamehameha Schools before heading to Beloit College in Wisconsin. Returning home for his Masters in Social Work at the University of Hawai`i, he went on to lead a forty-five year career serving the non-profit and human services sector.Through his work at the Queen Lili`uokalani Children’s Center, OHA, and Alu Like, Morse has advocated for the social and economic rights of Native Hawaiians and strengthened Hawai`i’s children, families, and communities. As the founding director of the Hawaiian Coalition of Native Claims (currently the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation), he became involved with the first occupation of Kaho`olawe, where he filmed the groundbreaking experience. Though Morse considers the landing on Kaho`olawe to be his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on his film-making biography, he was able to share more of his thoughts on the event in a manuscript. Titled “First Landing: the Story of the Kaho`olawe Nine,” the manuscript has been adapted into a screenplay and will hopefully reach production in the future.

He has called Waimanalo his home for the past thirty years, and has remained active in the community by serving on many of the local boards. Morse is also the current Executive Director of Blueprint for Change, which is a non-profit that works to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Kevin Coates
After appearing in Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox films in the 1960s, Coates took part in developing a documentary about atomic bomb testing by France near Tahiti.  Through distribution by Greenpeace founder Bob Hunter, the documentary was able to reach audiences worldwide and pushed by public opinion, France stopped its testing. Coates went on to develop the format for what is currently known as C-Span. Despite receiving no credit for his part with C-Span, he is glad that he was able to play a part in keeping the public more aware of the happenings in Congress.

In 1976, Coates met with George Helm, where he was asked to help document the efforts of Hawaiian activists in stopping the bombing of Kaho`olawe. His persona account conveys it best:

I replied, “Stop the bombing… I’m in.”  George said, “We don’t have any money to pay you.”  I told him and the ‘Ohana, “I don’t care about the money but I need to keep the camera and gear dry, and I’ll need to eat once in awhile- to which George laughed and said, “Braddah, we Hawaiian, you know you’re gonna eat!”

By documenting the Aloha ‘Āina movement, Coates feels truly blessed to have been able to meet such amazing, true Hawaiians, as well as his wife. He also feels especially blessed to have met his wife of forty-two years while on a march with Hui Alaloa. They now have three keiki and six mo`opuna.
Joan Lander

An independent filmmaker, has been part of the documentary team Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina, which has produced more than 90 programs focusing on the land and people of Hawai‘i and the Pacific. The documentaries examine traditional Hawaiian culture, history, language, art, music, environment, independence and sovereignty, and have been seen on PBS, Hawai‘i public and commercial television stations, and cable networks in Canada, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Japan, Mexico and Europe. Currently, Lander is working to preserve, digitize and make accessible thousands of hours of footage in the Nā Maka o ka ʻĀina library.

Matt Yamashita
A filmmaker from Molokaʻi whose work focuses on culture, activism, and sustainability. Yamashita’s award-winning documentaries, including Sons of Halawa and The Roots of ‘Ulu have seen national PBS broadcast. Currently, he is working on a new documentary, Aloha ‘Aina: The Awakening of Walter Ritte. Ritte was one of the Kaho‘olawe Nine that landed on the island in 1976.
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As an encore to the premier on Sunday, `Ulu`ulu hosted another showing and panel discussion in the James & Abigail Campbell Library at UH West O`ahu. The event on Monday was open to the public, and members of the community joined students, faculty, and staff on campus for this encore presentation. Viewing the film proved to be particularly intriguing for students enrolled in Land, Culture and Social Justice class taught by Christy Mello. The audience’s interest in the film could be felt through their questions and active engagement with the filmmakers.

Although some of the footage may be in black and white, with pictures blurred by time and sound crackling with age, the issues presented in Documenting Activism are still sharp, still cut deep, and still resonate with current audiences. The efforts of the featured activists and filmmakers inspire the younger generation to follow in their footsteps and continue to create content and stories that give a Native Hawaiian perspective.

For those that were unable to attend the showings of Documenting Activism: The Early Days of the Native Hawaiian Movement, you can watch the film on the ‘Ulu’ulu site or browse our photos here.

 
Blog by Hoku Kaahaaina

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Filipino American History Month

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October is Filipino American History Month. In honor of the event, we compiled footage from various collections in the ‘Ulu’ulu Moving Image Archive to illustrate the Filipino experience in the Hawai’i islands.

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Hanapbuhay Filipina : Looking for Work in Hawaii. Victoria Keith Collection.

Description: A look at Filipino immigrant women and their problems with finding suitable employment in Hawaiʻi.

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Interview with Marie C. Blanco. Daniel K. Inouye Oral History Project. Daniel K. Inouye Congressional Collection.

Description: Interview with Marie C. Blanco, Senator Inouye’s former chief of staff. This interview was recorded in Falls Church, Virginia on July 7, 2015 for the Daniel K. Inouye Oral History Project. Topics include how Blanco’s desire to work on the continental United States led to becoming a staff member, state issues and communication between Hawaiʻi and D.C. offices, becoming more familiar with Senator Inouye’s different sides over the years, aid for the Philippines and naturalization for Filipino veterans, and being on the commission for the FDR Memorial. Includes photos of Senator Inouye’s trips to the Philippines in 2006 and 2011.

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Interview with worker. Ka’u Sugar: A Town Remembers production materials. Cliff Watson

Description: Retired mill operator talks about emigrating to Hawaiʻi and his thoughts on the future of Kāʻū now that the plantation is closing.

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Kahului Filipino Community Association INC. Fifth Annual Miss Sampaguita Contest 1979. Michael Dooley Collection.

Description: Kahului Filipino Community Association INC. Fifth Annual Miss Sampaguita Contest. Includes dancing from the Kahului Maui Junior Catholic Club dance, speeches, and swearing in of new members.

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DIALOG: Lt. Governor’s Race (1986). PBS Hawai’i. KHET.

Description: Episode of DIALOG featuring a roundtable discussion with the 1986 candidates for Lieutenant Governor. Candidates are Democrat Ben Cayetano and Republican John Henry Felix.

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Interview with Norman Asuncion 5/6/98. The Great Hawai’i Dock Strike production materials. Rice & Roses production materials. CLEAR.

Description: Interview with Norman Asuncion conducted by Chris Conybeare on May 6th, 1998 about the 1949 Dock Strike. Topics include his parents immigrating to Kauaʻi to work on a plantation, being stranded on Oʻahu after the war and becoming a stevedore, the ethnic makeup of workers on the dock, benefits of the union, working and living conditions, strike assignment, the Broom Brigade, and what became of the Filipino stevedores.

Please view the Filipino American History Theme here.

Be sure to contact us to view the full footage!

Hawai’i History Day – 2017

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This year’s theme for Hawai’i History Day is “Conflict and Compromise”. The resources selected from the ‘Ulu’ulu Archive show how community development leads to many issues that must be resolved and compromise has to be instituted to allow for a wide range of voices to be heard. Showcased are debates, news footage, rallies, and documentaries that explore how conflict arises and the avenues that allow for compromise.

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Community Planning Program. Victoria Keith Prodcutions.

Description: Thomas Square. City planning. Oʻahu County. Development. Government decision making without public input. Interviews with people at a protest. Interviews with developers. City Councilmembers. Board of Water Supply. Waiʻanae. Kalihi.

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Rapid Transit Roundtable. Hawai’i Public Broadcast.

Description: Program starts with people from Hawaiʻi living in the San Francisco Bay Area discussing Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART). Continues with highlights from three roundtable discussions with comments by Governor John Waiheʻe, Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi, Mililani State Rep. Samuel Lee, Councilmember Gary Gill Downtown/Nuʻuanu, Bob Fishman Honolulu Taxpayers for Transit Solutions, Vicki Von Stroheim-Seay V.P. Snelling-Temps, Dr. James Mak Economics Chair UH-Mānoa, Gary Rodrigues State Federation of Labor, Craig Kawahara Pearl City High School Junior, Paul Brewbaker Economist Bank of Hawaii, Darrlyn T. Bunda Leeward Oʻahu Transportation Mgt. Assn., Guy Nakamoto Stop H3, and James E. Cowen President Oʻahu Transit Services Inc.

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DIALOG : The Sandy Beach Initiative: Yes or No (1988). PBS Hawai’i.

Description: Roundtable discussion about the controversy over Sandy Beach and Kaiser Development Company’s plan to build a housing subdivision. Voters in the upcoming election will be asked to vote on a plan to rezone land across from the beach from residential to preservation. Guests include two members from People Who Vote Know on Sandy Beach and two members from the Save Sandy Beach Coalition. Includes a short background video by reporter Penny Nakamura.

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ENG File #4. KGMB.

Description: This ENG File contains 42 clips of news footage on a variety of topics from July 10, 1978 through September 19, 1978.

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Protect Kahoʻolawe visits office of Lieutenant Governor Doi’s office with Lt. Gov. Doi circa 1977. Protect Kaho’olawe Ohana.

Description: Protect Kahoʻolawe visits office of Lieutenant Governor Doi’s office with Lt. Gov. Doi circa 1977. The group also talks to daughter of MacPhee Kahoʻolawe leasee. Crowd includes Aunty Clara Ku, Uncle Harry Mitchell, Aunty Lani Lopez Kapuni, Walter Ritte, and Loretta Ritte.

Please be sure to checkout the rest of the resources selected for the theme “Conflict and Compromise” and contact us to view the full footage!!

Introducing our 2017 Roselani Intern

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From August 7th to September 8th, we were very lucky to have Kathryn Antonelli as our 2017 Roselani Summer Intern! She is originally from Rhode Island and has since been adopted by Philadelphia. Kat earned a BA in Media Studies and Production from Temple University, and she is currently completing an MLIS (Masterʻs in Library and Information Science) from the University of South Carolina.

What brought you here to ‘Ulu‘ulu? What are some of the things you were hoping to learn during your internship with us?

Two main things brought me to ʻUluʻulu: its specialization in moving images, and its mission to preserve Native Hawaiian cultural history. Before I discovered my interest in the LIS field, my undergraduate program and my jobs during and after college all involved working with audiovisual materials, so I knew I wanted to continue using those skills as I “migrated” to a new field. It’s very unique to find an archive that focuses on these materials. Also, I love learning about other languages and cultures, so when I saw the post advertising the internship I had to see what ‘Ulu’ulu was all about. As I’ve gotten more experience working in archives, I’ve become aware of their potential to help marginalized groups tell their stories, and I was really drawn to the way ‘Ulu’ulu attempts to do that as inclusively and respectfully as possible.

Could you please share a little about the work you did at Princeton?

This summer has been interesting for me because I took a trip back in time as I worked. Before I came to Hawaiʻi, I was interning with Princeton Universityʻs Manuscripts Division team. There, my focus was on post-1980 born digital audiovisual materials like optical media and files on computer hard drives. That was a great experience and I unlocked some inner computer geekiness I never knew I had–believe it or not, using the command line can be pretty fascinating. Now that Iʻm here, though, Iʻm working with formats like videotape and film that mostly date between the 1950s and 1980s (although ʻUluʻulu does have film thatʻs even older, and plenty of digitized files you can check out on the website).

What projects are you working on at ‘Ulu‘ulu ?

Iʻve gotten the opportunity to do a few different things here! I finished accessioning all of the Pau Hana Years programs in our PBS Hawai’i collection, and am now working to clean up the metadata for our Juniroa collection. Iʻve also helped organize the Don Ho collection and get it on the shelves, inspected film from an incoming home movie collection, done transcoding and quality control for the KGMB collection, and worked at outreach events to let the universityʻs students know about ʻUluʻulu. Itʻs been a lot of fun getting to try my hand at different responsibilities, and learning the ins and outs of how the archive operates.

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Was there anything about the videos you worked with that was surprising or unexpected?

Having taken classes in audiovisual materials, I was aware that an incredible number of formats have been produced over the years. However, getting to actually handle them and discover the differences has been entertaining and enlightening.

So you’ve been here for about a month now, what are you enjoying most about Hawai‘i?

Aside from the beauty of the land and sea, which absolutely cannot be overstated, I love how ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi is integrated into local signage and phrases. From the bus announcement requesting riders move to the rear with “please kōkua” to the signs on the beach asking visitors to “mālama ‘āina”, itʻs a constant reminder of the rich culture of this area. Although there is still progress to be made, it makes me happy to see Hawaiian ways of knowing being promoted. In fact, I created a theme for the ‘Ulu’ulu website that brings together some of our resources on the language.

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Now that you have worked as a Moving Image Archivist and with Hawaiian cultural materials, what is your favorite aspect of the job and why?

I think my favorite part is the storytelling ability of the materials themselves, and knowing that my work helps to keep them available. I’ve always believed in the power of a good book, but reading about an event is completely different than seeing it happen. I find moving images and sound recordings to be incredibly powerful ways of reliving and understanding our history, and equally interesting is how they can be edited to tell the same story in different ways. I’m excited to keep working in this field and grateful that I had my first real taste of it with the staff at ‘Ulu’ulu.

 

Abraham “Puhipau” Ahmad – Na Mamo Makamae o ka Po’e Hawai’i – Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People

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‘Ulu’ulu Archive was very happy to hear that on Kamehameha Day Abraham “Puhipau” Ahmad was recognized as a Na Mamo Makamae o ka Po’e Hawai’i – Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for his pioneering work as a filmmaker. The documentaries produced by Na Maka o ka ‘Aina illustrate the strength and struggles of the Hawaiian people. Puhipau was dedicated to enlightening the world about Hawaiian history, sovereignty and aloha ‘aina.

“These kūpuna are not just keepers of the flame, they are the connection and bridge to our past,” said OHA Ka Pouhana (Chief Executive Officer) Kamana’opono Crabbe. “The more we learn from our kūpuna and apply what we learn from them, the more we maintain that bond with our ancestors, our homeland, and our identity as Kanaka ‘Ōiwi.”

Puhipau was part of the events that transpired at Sand Island from September 1979 to January 1980 in which a predominantly Native Hawaiian fishing community who had moved onto the public land, creating homes, resisted eviction from the Honolulu shoreline by the State of Hawai’i. He sought to give the community a voice in hopes they would be heard and able to remain on the land. In the end, the families and structures were removed. But the struggle is remembered. The documentary “The Sand Island Story”, produced by filmmaker Victoria Keith and her partner Jerry Rochford, captured the moments that unfolded during the difficult months.

After his experience at Sand Island he decided to become a storyteller through film as well, joining forces with video producer Joan Lander, whom he met during the editing of The Sand Island Story, to form Nā Maka o ka ‘Aina.

He made significant contributions to film by allowing issues that remain part of the Hawaiian experience to be explored from their perspective and give a greater understanding of what it means to be part of the Hawai’i islands.

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On behalf of Puhipau and his ‘ohana, we mahalo all of the honorees today. As Puhipau used to say, we the filmmakers are not the stars: the stars are the people like you and many others in our programs who keep alive the culture and history, who string together lei of flowers and lei of islands and continents, who strive to protect sacred ancestral places, and who struggle against the powers  that be to bring about aloha ‘aina.

~Joan Lander, acceptance speech at Na Mamo Makamae o ka Po’e Hawai’i – Living Treasures of the Hawaiian People

Read full acceptance speech here.

‘Ulu’ulu Yearbook

Throughout the years, ‘Ulu’ulu has had many different volunteers, interns and project assistants who have helped facilitate our mission. We are grateful for their contributions! We thought it would be fun to create an ‘Ulu’ulu yearbook that features all the faces who’ve been part of our ‘ohana.

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I’m very proud to have worked on creating access to materials from The Hawaiian Legacy Foundation.  I believe that it has become a part of my own collection of uncanny little moments that will help guide me in my life’s work.

~ Hoku Ka’aha’āina, class of 2017

I feel what I gained from this amazing opportunity was a better skill set to tackle audiovisual material challenges, awareness that establishing relationships with community members can go a long way to being trusted to maintain Native Hawaiian cultural materials, and most importantly friendship that provides the sharing of  knowledge and support of one another.

~ April Rodriguez, Class of 2015

My experience at ʻUluʻulu was absolutely wonderful. The staff are so welcoming, knowledgeable, and competent, and the collection is unique and priceless. I feel so fortunate that I was able to spend the last several months at ‘Ulu’ulu, and I hope to continue my learning of Hawai’i’s moving image history.

~ Keahiahi Long, Class of 2014

Check out blog posts which feature various interns, volunteers, and project assistants to find out more about their experiences and projects they took part in during their time with ‘Ulu’ulu!

Hoku Ka’aha’āina 2017 – present Project Assistant

Marc Matsumoto 2017 ACM Intern

Keala Richard 2016-2017 Project Assistant

Sarah Smith 2016 Roselani Intern

Sage Kaonohi 2016 Intern

Letitia Lavoie 2016 Intern

April Rodriguez 2015 Roselani Intern

Hugh Fleming 2015 ACM Intern

Keahiahi Long 2014 LIS Intern

Peter Kowen 2013 Volunteer/ 2014 Project Assistant

Ashley Hartwell 2013 Volunteer

Koa Luke 2012 Volunteer/ 2013 Project Assistant

Mahalo nui!!

Spring 2017 ‘Ulu’ulu Intern Marc Matsumoto

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We’re sadly saying goodbye to our Spring 2017 intern, Marc Matsumoto. He came to us as a senior from the Creative Media Program and will be graduating in Fall 2017. We were very lucky to have such a quick and dedicated worker helping out with projects within the archive. When Marc applied for the position he said he really liked to organize things, and right then we knew he would be great for assisting with processing our collections.

We had some questions for Marc before he departed to continue his academic journey.

How did you learn about ‘Ulu‘ulu and why did you decide to intern here?

I learned about ‘Ulu’ulu through a list of internship sites provided by Sharla Hanaoka (Associate Director for Creative Media – UHWO) during my search for a place to intern.  I wanted to have a backup plan in case one of my chosen sites didn’t work out. ‘Ulu’ulu ended up being my final decision after communications went south with another location. Out of the other sites listed, I always wondered what ‘Ulu’ulu. I had always seen it at the far end of the library and only visited once before while getting my ACM card.  I wanted to answer that question before I graduate from West Oahu and I’m very happy that I found that answer and more while interning here.

Could you share a little about the work you did as an intern?

I did a handful of tasks, many much faster than what was intended. About halfway through the semester I finished a major project that was to create an inventory of the KHON collection. Otherwise, some of the other tasks I worked on were inspecting and cleaning tapes, scanning cards for collections,  and cross-referencing videos for the Daniel K. Inouye Oral History Project.

Was there anything about the work that was surprising or unexpected?

Seeing the inside of the vault for the first time.  Before I started I never expected to go into the vault. I thought that I would mostly be  stationed in my assigned area . It’s definitely something you would have to see firsthand, walking down the aisles.

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Disposing of deaccessioned film

What was your biggest takeaway?

I feel my years at West Oahu are filled with missed opportunities and I’m sad that only this semester I found out about of this amazing resource that was right beneath my nose. I don’t recall any of the professors referencing ‘Ulu’ulu except if there was a screening or event going on in the area.  I would hear about checking out the library as a whole or stopping by the No’eau Center, but nothing specifically about ‘Ulu’ulu.  Seeing it separated by a glass door, I thought perhaps that I needed some kind of permission to go into the area. I didn’t know that it could relate to anything I was working on at the time.  If only I knew then what I know now some of the projects I’ve struggled with could have been alleviated by using their resources.

Pursuit in Creative Media

When I was little to now I enjoyed video games and animated movies, because of this I thought I would become a video game or animated movie creator or director.  Growing up I became interested in film, which I’ve had uncertainties regarding my skill and experience in the field.  During my time in college I dabbled in various techniques and learned as much as I could such as a bit of graphics work, sound design, video editing, animation, coding and screenwriting.  It was an up and down journey finding out what I want to do.  Although, no matter what, I did know that I wanted to pursue this field of study.  I’m sort of a “jack of all trades, master of none” or that is what I call myself nowadays.  I still do not have a concrete plan for the future except taking on any jobs necessary to learn what I can. I’m leaning towards freelancing until I get noticed by someone from the industry and if that falls flat then I’m considering teaching in this field.

Humanities Theme

As one of his projects, Marc put together a theme for our website. He had a great time looking through all the clips on our website and decided to relate it to his humanities course.

Description: What is Humanities? How can you apply Humanities in your field of study? This theme is a collection of videos that relates to the Humanities course as well as ways to utilize humanities in different applications. The videos vary with different groups of people whether background, race or culture in addition to examples of possible ways to express humanities such as art, interviews, talk shows, poetry and music.

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First Friday: The Unauthorized News: Racism and Critical Race Theory (August 1996)

Please be sure to checkout Marc’s curated Humanities Theme!