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rgilm3@uis.edu

 

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UIS "political art" series continues with a look at Wal-Mart

October 5, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield’s new series Political Art and the Public Sphere will continue Tuesday, October 24, with a showing of the documentary "Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price" at 6 p.m. in Brookens Auditorium, lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. The film will be followed by a discussion session; both are free and open to the public.

Series facilitator Richard Gilman-Opalsky, assistant professor of political philosophy, explained that each program in the monthly series will feature a showing or a performance of some kind of "political art," followed by a group discussion of the issues it raises. "The basic idea behind PAPS is to consider how 'art' raises provocative social and political questions," he said.

Citing the growing trend in many communities to oppose the construction of new Wal-Mart stores, Gilman-Opalsky continued, "Are there larger social, political, and economic reasons to oppose Wal-Mart beyond not wanting it in your own back yard?" This program will present a controversial film that is critical of the company and raises charges that it pays substandard wages, undermines employee health benefits, eviscerates communities, and uses sweatshop labor, among other things.

"Public spheres are the places where people come together to communicate, to evaluate, and to circulate ideas and arguments," noted Gilman-Opalsky. "In the public sphere, people form a collective political opinion and will. Ultimately and ideally, the public sphere brings the interests and demands of the public to bear on those who hold power."

For more information about this program or the PAPS series, contact Gilman-Opalsky by phone at 206-8328 or by e-mail at rgilm3@uis.edu.

    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.
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