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January 28, 2008

Self-Portrait: Ego Trippin'

For my class, I made a short video that's equivalent to an ego surf on google. This is what happens when I'm stuck in the house w/sick kids [pink eye + fevers] for too long:


January 19, 2008

Spirit Award Nominee

I just watched the documentary CRAZY LOVE. Crazy is right. Misogynistic, racist, and insane people; and of course, a lawyer. What a fabulous film. Usually talking head interviews, photos, news clips, newsreel and some home video footage can be really boring to watch for an hour plus but, this is beautifully made. The opening - with sounds of screaming, sirens and an out of focus image under the title credits was sharp. It was disconcerting and confusing, then you meet Burt and Linda. The way that stills were produced - with lots of photo shop and motion was perfect. The big budget was revealed with the soundtrack - oldies. I couldn't help but sing along; my mom loved the oldies, I grew up listening to tape after tape.

NOMINATED FOR: Best Documentary

Director: Dan Klores
Writer: Dan Klores
Producer: Dan Klores, Fisher Stevens

January 16, 2008

The Current Theme Song

Jill Scott
"Hate on Me"

If I could give you the world
On a silver platter
Would it even matter?
You'd still be mad at me

If I could find in all this
A dozen roses
Which I would give to you
You'd still be miserable

In reality, I'm gon' be who I be
And I don't feel no faults
For all the lies that you bought
You can try as you may
Break me down but I say
That it ain't up to you
Gon' and do what you do

Hate on me, hater
Now or later
'Cuz I'm gonna do me
You'll be mad, baby
(Go 'head and hate)
Go 'head and hate on me, hate on
'Cuz I'm not afraid of it
What I got I paid for
You can hate on me

Ooh, if I gave you peaches
Out of my own garden
And I made you a peach pie
Would you slap me high?

What if I gave you diamonds
Out of my own womb
Would you feel the love in that,
Or ask "why not the moon"?

If I gave you sanity
For the whole of humanity,
Had all the solutions
For the pain and pollution

No matter where I live,
Despite the things I give,
You'll always be this way
So go 'head and....

Hate on me, hater
Now or later
'Cuz I'm gonna do me
You'll be mad, baby
(Go 'head and hate)
Go 'head and hate on me, hate on
'Cuz I'm not afraid of it
What I got I paid for
You can hate on me

You cannot hate on me
'Cuz my mind is free
Feel my destiny
So shall it be

January 12, 2008

Calling all Pro-Choice Bloggers

Blog for Choice Day

On January 22nd - the 34th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – NARAL Pro-Choice America is asking pro-choice bloggers to raise the profile of reproductive rights issues in the blogosphere and the media, and to let everyone know that a woman's right to choose is nonnegotiable.

So blog for choice on January 22nd, and this year's topic is a simple one: tell us, and your readers, why you're pro-choice.

You can sign up for Blog for Choice Day here and download a Blog for Choice Day sidebar graphic (to let your readers know that you're participating) here.

January 11, 2008

Quote of the Day

To will oneself free is also to will others free.

- Simone de Beauvoir, The Ethics of Ambiguity

GWSS Tech Talk: Feminist Teaching with Technology

GWSS Tech Talk: Feminist Teaching with Technology
Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 12 - 2 p.m. in the Feminist Media Center (FMC), 468 Ford Hall
Facilitator: Rachel Raimist - raim0007@umn.edu

In this GWSS Tech Talk / FEMINIST MEDIA CENTER (FMC) workshop, I will share some theories and practices of feminist teaching, learning, research, and creativity using technology. I will use examples from GWSS courses: GWSS 1001:Gender, Power and Everyday Life: An Intro to GWSS, GWSS 3002:Feminist Thought and Theory, GWSS 3307 ( small enrollment class) + (large enrollment class 1 + 2: Feminist Film Studies, and GWSS 3390: Feminist Media Making: Theory + Practice.

In this session, I will:

+ Demonstrate multiple uses of course blogs: as tools to create community, continue/deepen course discussions, post reading responses, track news items, post event info, and easily share media content to all members of the classroom community for large and small course enrollments

+ Demonstrate key uses of WEBVISTA (formerly WebCT): site as a reading repository for enrolled students, place of accessible web links, announcements, computer-graded quiz tools, message boards, chat rooms, calendar tool, gradebook, and other helpful features

+ Illustrate uses of UMN supported multimedia tools: BREEZE, MOODLE, WIKIs, JABBER, and other digital media tools offered through MyU PORTAL

+ Share UMN tech resources - free and low cost classes, free CD-rom, tutorials, and new state of the art available for course use

+ Start a GWSS community blog to post events, calls for papers, funding opportunities, and other information of interest to our community (and everyone will learn how to post to this blog during this session)

Bring your questions and an open-mind to this session! I look forward to seeing you there.

Please RSVP to raim0007@umn.edu if you are planning to attend this session.

Seating is limited. RSVP is not required, but encouraged!

January 10, 2008

Spirit Award Noms...

furiously watching films. not overwhelmed [yet].


Broken English nominated for "best first screenplay" and "best female lead" (for parker posey)

not bad, but my boat is not rocking. it seemed it would be easily relatable: i'm a 30-something but unlike the film's character, i'm married w/2kids, i know my career path, and i'm not on meds. parker posey was strong but nothing really different than what i've seen in all her many indie performances. the directing was solid but not shining.

My Life As A Dog nominated for "best first screenplay"

billed as a comedy but it wasn't belly laughing funny. it was sad, quirky and funny. molly shannon was great. story felt strange but true.

January 9, 2008

ALL AGES event celebrating Minnesota's 150 years!

SATURDAY, JAN 12, 2-3:30pm

Jazz pianist Jeanna Arland Peterson
Dance/Theater company Joe Chala & the Flying Foot Forum
Desdamona & Carnage as ill chemistry w/ special guest: B-GIRL SEOUL

admission: $8-15 / Children under 5 FREE
tickets at: www.mnhs.org/mn150matinees
or 651-259-3015

Minnesota Historical Society

345 Kellogg Blvd W
St Paul, MN 55102

January 8, 2008

Digital Storytelling for Women - 1 Spot Left!

Digital Storytelling for Women
Instructor: Rachel Raimist
Saturdays, Mar. 22–29, 9am–6pm
Reg. deadline: Mar. 15
Tuition: $235/$195 members
Max. enrollment: 4 students

Course meets at IFP Center for Media Arts, 2446 University Avenue West, Suite 100, St. Paul, MN 55114 (651) 644-1912 (phone) / (651) 644-5708 (fax) Homepage

Course Description:
Storytelling is a tool for preserving memory and history, learning, entertainment and healing. It is in the telling of our stories that we discover our connections with others and the world. Our stories reveal the truths about ourselves and our community; they reflect our experiences and point of view. We are the stories that we tell.

This workshop gives women the tools to tell their stories using digital media (video, still images, sound and artwork) edited on a computer. Students will individually produce a short video (5 minutes and under). Through the process we’ll examine modes and power dimensions of storytelling, and topics like truth, authenticity and responsibility. This class is perfect for women who are creative writers, filmmakers, photographers, visual artists or creative thinkers.

This is a hands-on, Mac-based computer intensive workshop. Students do not need to know how to use particular editing software but do need be comfortable using computers. There will be a lunch break each session.

January 7, 2008

Minnesota Projects Gallery Open Call for Submissions


Minnesota Center for Photography is seeking proposals from Minnesota-resident artists for use of the Minnesota Projects Gallery (MPG), our space dedicated to experimental and exploratory artist-driven photographic installations. These run concurrently with Main Gallery shows, though are not necessarily related to them. Past MPG artists include Martin Springborg, Ellen Rutchick, Kermit Graber, Dona Schwartz, Mike Hazard, Laura Hoyt (with Abinadi Meza), Mara Pelecis, Simon Martinez, and Missy Whiteman.

Submissions Due: January 18, 2008, 5 p.m.

browse through current and past MPG artist exhibitions by clicking here

Proposals should entail careful consideration of this distinctive gallery, which has approximately 43 usable linear feet of wall area in an enclosed, 138-square-foot room with walls finished to a 12-foot ceiling. Past installations have used audio components, beanbag chairs, running water, wall drawings, tree stumps, and candles, in addition to photographic images. Any reversible alterations may be undertaken, though the artist is responsible for returning the space to its original condition.

With special funding from the Jerome Foundation, MPG now offers significant assistance with installation and professional enhancement. In addition to an exhibition honorarium of $450, MCP will provide up to $3000 for technical support and/or material reimbursement, plus an additional $2000 for enrichment reimbursement, intended to contribute to the "ripple effect" of this exhibition opportunity. Examples of possible uses of the enrichment money would include exhibition documentation, travel to NYC to meet with galleries or other artists, publication of a modest brochure, or commissioning an essay from a noted historian or critic.

At least four of each year's five open MPG slots will be chosen through MCP's Programming Committee, scheduling all MPG exhibitions for the upcoming year. At least three of each year's five slots will be awarded to emerging artists.

MPG 2008/2009 exhibition dates to be filled
May 3 - July 20, 2008
July 26 - October 5, 2008
November 22, 2008 - February 1, 2009
February 7 - April 19, 2009

Submission Materials
please make sure to read through submission requirements for details on image and document guidelines
+project proposal description, including; how you will utilize MPG's specific physical layout, proposed budget for materials and technical assistance required for installation with short description, how submitted video and/or audio relates to proposed project (if applicable), and thematic or conceptual rationale for your project.
+12 images maximum, representing or suggesting the work you intend to include in your installation. These may include views/designs of earlier installations you have created, to help the review committee envision your proposal. Up to 5 minutes of video or audio may also accompany the submission.
+list of works, labeled with corresponding number of submitted jpegs (titles, dates, medium, dimensions) or Quicktime files
+resum│ - including contact information: phone, e-mail, web site(s), and mailing address

Submission Requirements
+no hard copy materials required!
entire submission should be burned on a CD (do not use labels, use a permanent marker to label CD with your first and last name) with 2 folders for: 1) images 2) documents
+images folder should contain up to 12 images and video or audio files (if applicable), labeled with your name in order of preferred viewing. Example: Smith_Jane_01.jpg
+images need to adhere to the following format:
100 dpi
jpeg files (with .jpg extension)
1024 pixels on longest edge (10.24")
RGB Color Mode
+any video submitted should be a Quicktime Movie, no longer than 5 minutes (include .mov file extension)
+any audio submitted should be a Quicktime Audio File, no longer than 5 minutes.
+all documents should be submitted in Word or as a PDF
+all documents should be labeled with your first and last name and type of document. Example: Smith_Jane_resume.doc OR Smith_Jane_listofworks.pdf

All materials are due by 5 p.m. on January 18, 2008. This is not a postmark deadline. Submissions may be dropped off or sent through mail.

Send CD submissions to (no printed materials please!):

MPG Review
165 13th Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Materials will be returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Important Dates

January 18, 5 p.m. Submissions due to MCP
January 25 - February 7 Selected artists - studio visits (MCP will contact selected artists to arrange visits- please be aware that you may be contacted to schedule a studio visit during this time.)
February 11 Final MPG artists selected for remaining 2008 exhibition schedule

Email Jes Schrom at jes@mncp.org or call at 612.824.5500

January 6, 2008

Quote of the Day

The spirit of opposition is not a creative spirit. Acts of opposition are not creative acts. The goal of healing is not to oppose, which comes from fear, but to create, which comes from hope.

January 5, 2008

Support N Mpls and Programs that Work!

Over the break, I've spent quite a bit of time at Correction Transitional Services Inc, a non-profit org that helps ex-offenders and those with drug problems heal and successfully transition back into society. My daughter baked cookies and a cake, and I made a chicken soup from scratch that we brought to the Chemical Dependency group that meets on Tuesday afternoons. I bought a dish drainer, flatware, and some pots and pans for their supportive housing residents. What did YOU DO over this break?

CTSI was recently featured on WCCO News. Read the story, "Program Changing Lives in Mpls Neighborhood" HERE. Watch the video clip to meet some of the CTSI family:


CTSI is always in need. Please DONATE $ online, household goods (they need food, clothing, cleaning supplies, mattresses), and really anything that is clean and in good condition. Thanks to the person who donated a passenger van last week! What do you have in your life that you no longer need? DONATE IT!

Contact Info:
Paul Kustermann, Executive Director
2308 Dowling Ave North
Minneapolis, MN 55412
612 588-7530

January 4, 2008

Watching The Nominees

I just watched:

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Nominated for:
- Best Feature / Producers: Dede Gardner, Andrew Eaton, Brad Pitt
- Best First Screenplay - John Orloff
- Best Female Lead - Angelina Jolie

I was worried that I wouldn't be able to let go of Angelina Jolie, and accept her as Mariane Pearl - an Afro-Cuban. Truth is, I couldn't. I was fixated on the tight curls of her hair, the way that the makeup accentuated her cheeks, and the physicality of her performance. I do really appreciate the film in it's complicated yet quiet calm. Here the time in this woman's life that is the more complex and chaotic, yet there is a quiet and a stillness. What good would have "losing it" emotionally done for her, the baby inside her, or the whole situation; it certainly couldn't have helped find her husband. I really liked the director's choices to center the days her husband was missing, gently inter-cut flashbacks to their life (which often become so heavy handed visually and emotionally in many films), and not re-create any of his time in captivity. A visually strong film, well directed, and powerful enough to stir strong emotions long after the end credits faded.


Nominated for:
Best First Feature / Director: Scott Frank / Producers: Roger Birnbaum, Gary Barber, Laurence Mark, Walter Parkes

I watched the trailer for this film first, unsure about what this "crime drama" would bring. Knowing Frank is an academy award winner for Out of Sight, the Clooney-Lopez film I passed on, I was nervous that this is a why bother for me. Still, being nominated for a Spirit Award means there is something special or at least quirky (for the most part). I really liked Joseph Gordon-Levitt's performance. The script was clever and took a story about trauma and memory loss and made it feel original. The opening scene (discovered to be a dream/flashback) was visually off-putting, and almost threw me off (I had a desire to click the film off but held on), and as soon as the jump cut first sequence, "I woke up" started, I was hooked. It was an aspiring commercial film that feels independent in its story, locations, and directing (no huge booming shots), but I prefer indie depictions of bloody bank robberies gone wrong than Hollywood fantasy big budget any day.

THE PRISONER or; How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair

Nominated for:
-Best Documentary / Directors: Petra Epperlein & Michael Tucker

Since documentary is my favorite genre of all time, I was excited for this one. I was disappointed by the last few films I've seen on Iraq or huge social issues so I was afraid. I absolutely did not know what to expect. Also, animated recreations can be horrible, but I was so pleasantly surprised that for this film, it works. The film's subject matter, the U.S.'s violation of human rights in Iraq against citizens, is so serious, but the animation (as well as the Yunis' own humor about the tragedy of flawed intelligence, his torture, and wrongful incarceration) works to balance what could have been a heavy handed mess.

I liked the form of the film - using the footage shot by Tucker (documenting lives of US soldiers) of the original raid and capture of Yunis and his brothers, Yunis' footage and photographs documenting bomb out Bagdad, interviews (which were subtle and nicely directed and edited), and animated titles and recreations.

An example, stemming from the military's own illustrations of soldiers and detainees, like this:

Vanity Fair published THIS ARTICLE telling the story behind the film. AMAZING.

I'm excited to watch more (and more and more and more...)!

January 3, 2008

VIDEOS: School to Prison Pipeline and other troubling issues


Youth Rights Media is a New Haven-based nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth to know, protect and advance their rights. YRM builds youth power and leadership by engaging young people in video media production and community organizing, equipping them with tools, skills, and strategies for affecting change within themselves and their communities.

Book 'Em: Undereducated, Overincarcerated (2005)

This provocative documentary unpacks the “school to prison pipeline,? revealing startling and disturbing connections between the educational and juvenile justice systems. In addition to being broadcast nationally through Free Speech TV, this film won the Best Documentary Prize at the Westport Youth Film Festival and won the Criminal Justice Award at Media that Matters, the most prestigious social justice film festival in the country. Following the film’s release youth launched an action campaign with the goal of changing suspension policies in local schools, requiring that schools use more in-school alternatives to suspensions, and increasing resources for alternative schools. Youth screened the documentary for over 1500 youth and community audience members through local, discussion-based events, and within a year of the release of the film suspensions at New Haven’s two largest high schools had decreased by 50%.

Read the ACLU's FACT SHEET on the School to Prison Pipeline nationally HERE.

CJT$: At What Cost? (2004)

This compelling documentary explores and exposes gross injustices at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, Connecticut’s maximum security facility for boys aged 15 and under. Youth media makers were the first to ever gain on-camera access inside the facility, and their resulting documentary sent shockwaves across Connecticut, resulting in front page coverage on statewide papers and in the New York Times. The film and the subsequent public education and organizing campaign generated such a groundswell of public pressure that just a year after the film’s premiere Governor Jodi Rell announced she would be seeking the permanent closure of the facility.

+ + +

Then, there's THIS VIDEO:

...produced by the National Correctional Industries Association, in cooperation with the Bureau of Justice Association and the Department of Justice), shows what happens to the incarcerated. They become the "dependable labor pool", part of the prison industrial complex's "win win situation for EVERYONE"; "a bold new solution to growth", generating $38.4 million in sales and a net income of $1.7 million for MINNCOR Industries. READ the 2007 Annual Report HERE.

This video fails to mention that these prisoners earn .25 per hour (minus their cost of confinement and restitution, and they buy their goods directly back from MINNCOR at street level pricing. Take a LOOK at the MCF canteen order form.

None of us lives outside of this system.

Like me, my back hurts from sitting at this desk and I want an ergonomic chair like this:

List Price $799 $439.99

Wait, it's on sale at the MINNCOR OVERSTOCK SALE for $399.99.

Wonder how much MY FRIENDS at STILLWATER were paid to make this chair. *sigh*

FREE EVENT: Human Rights Film Series

Killer’s Paradise

In this powerful film, an award-winning team of filmmakers document the story of the brutal killings of women in Guatemala. Since 1999, more than 2,000 women have been murdered there, with the numbers rising every year. Killer’s Paradise documents the story of Claudina Isabel Velasquez, a 19 year old law student murdered in 2005, as her family urges the authorities to investigate who killed her.

Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
Riverview Branch Library, 1 E. George Street, Saint Paul

Second Showing: January 30, 5:30 p.m.
Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

Crimes of Honour

Across the Islamic world, hundreds of women are shot, stabbed, strangled or burned to death each year by their male relatives, because they are thought to have dishonored their families by engaging in unacceptable relationships. Filmed in Jordan and on the West Bank, Crimes of Honour captures the horrific tragedy of this practice, examines the wider societal response, and highlights the work of three women fighting to end this violence.

Thursday, January 17, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
Merriam Park Branch Library, 1831 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul

Second Showing: February 27, 5:30 p.m.
Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

Not For Sale and So Deep a Violence

Not for Sale and So Deep a Violence are two compelling short films that address prostitution as violence against women and the links between prostitution and trafficking. These films, produced by the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, go beyond the myths about prostitution and sex trafficking to demonstrate clear harm and explore what the world needs to do about this massive violation of women’s human rights.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Highland Park Branch Library, 1974 Ford Parkway, Saint Paul

Second Showing: March 6, 12:45 p.m.
Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

View from a Grain of Sand

View from a Grain of Sand is a journey through the last 30 years of Afghanistan's history as lived by three Afghan women. Shot over the last three years in Pakistan and Afghanistan, a doctor, teacher and social activist tell how their lives were violently affected by wars of international making and three different regimes in Afghanistan. Yet through all their loss, and the destruction of their homes and country, these women have endured. With courage, conviction and hope they continue to work on improving the lives of the people around them, against all odds, in this brutalized and divided nation.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
Arlington Hills Branch Library, 1105 Greenbrier Street, Saint Paul

Second Showing: March 11, 12:45 p.m.
Humphrey Center, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis

January 2, 2008

FREE EVENT on Feminist Blogging

January 18 | Feminist blogging with Jessica Valenti

The Center on Women and Public Policy will host a lecture and book signing with feminist writer Jessica Valenti, editor of Feministing.com, at 2 p.m. on January 18 in Freeman Commons (205 HHH). She will talk about feminist blogging and sign copies of her book Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters.

January 1, 2008

ghostbox 1.1 - video addendum

music: "floating opera" by tom servo of doomtree