Brazilian Documentary and Conversation

Date:  February 4, 2014

Time:  5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Summary:  Joel Zito Araujo, acclaimed Brazilian director, writer and producer of films and television programs, will be on the campus of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) for a screening of his documentary "Raca" (Race) on Tuesday, February 4, at 5:30 p.m. in Diggs Gallery on the lower level of O'Kelly Library.


Joel ZitaScreening of the film, which is in Portuguese with English sub-titles, is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a conversation between Araújo and Darien J. Davis, professor of history and Latin American studies at Middlebury College. The program is presented by the Office of International Programs, the Department of World Languages and Cultures and Diggs Gallery.

“Raca,” which is part of an innovative and far-reaching campaign that will bring filmmakers together with grassroots organizers to push for concrete social change, is the first feature documentary on racial equality to be nationally released in Brazil. It follows three Afro-Brazilian protagonists whose lives demonstrate the profound and historic changes the country is experiencing.

Araujo's other notable films include the award-winning "Denying Brazil," which tells the saga of black actors in the country’s famed soap operas, and the narrative feature "Filhas do Vento" (Daughters of the Wind), another affirmation of Brazil's black population portraying truly multi-racial images and stories of Brazil. “Filhas do Vento” won eight top awards, including best film and best director at the 32nd Gramado Film Festival, Brazil’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Araujo has a Doctor of Philosophy degree in communication science from the Escola de Comunicacoes e Artes, University of Sao Paulo. He was a visiting professor at the University of Texas at Austin in 2001- 2002 and currently is a scholar-in-residence at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center at UNC-Chapel Hill. From 2006-2007, he served as president of the Brazilian Filmmakers Association and from 2006-2008 was the pedagogic coordinator of the Lato Sensu Graduate Film Program at the Cuiaba University and MISC (Cuiaba Image and Sound Museum) in Cuiaba, Brazil.

Davis is interested in minority political and cultural exchanges, particularly Brazilian, Latin American, African and Jewish Diasporas globally. His research revolves around the themes of diaspora, nationhood, immigration and transnationalism and his work also focuses on the broader connections of social justice and cultural production throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and the developing world. The vast majority of Davis’ published work has focused on the legacy of Afro-Latin Americans in general, on Afro-Brazilians in particular, on Latin Americans abroad, and on Latinos in the United States. His notable books include "Stefan and Lotte Zweig's South American: Letters New York, Argentina and Brazil, 1940–42," written with Oliver Marshall, "White Face, Black Mask: Africanity and the Early Social History of Popular Music in Brazil" and "Avoiding the Dark: Race, Nation and National Culture in Modern Brazil."

Davis has a Ph.D. in history and Latin American studies from Tulane University, a M.A. in Spanish and Latin American studies from Notre Dame University, and a bachelor’s degree from St. John's University. Before joining Middlebury College, where he has served as the director of the Center for Latin American Studies, Davis was a visiting scholar at New York University and Columbia University.

In addition to participating in the film screening program, Davis will also give a lecture on "Blackness, Social Justice and Globalization" on Tuesday, February 4, at 11 a.m. in Room 136 of the R. J. Reynolds Center on the WSSU campus. His presentation will cover blackness and identity comparatively in the Caribbean, Brazil and the United States.

Categories:  Lectures and Readings, Faculty and Staff, Student

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