SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield's monthly series Political Art and the Public Sphere will present the classic political documentary "Pictures from a Revolution," at 6 p.m. Monday, April 30, in Brookens Auditorium, lower level of Brookens Library on the UIS campus. Both the film and the discussion session that follows are free and open to the public.
The 1991 film by Susan Meiselas captures the suffering, sacrifice, and celebration that accompanied the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Meiselas is an award-winning photojournalist who covered the revolution for The New York Times and London Times, and some of the photos she took were used for propaganda by both sides in the civil war that followed. Series facilitator Richard Gilman-Opalsky, UIS assistant professor of political philosophy, notes, "'Pictures from a Revolution' is an inquiry into how history is recorded and represented, and into the power of the image in politics."
Meiselas returned to Nicaragua a decade later to revisit the people – guerrillas, Socistas, and bystanders – pictured in her original photographs. They shared their feelings about how their lives have changed, for better and for worse, with her and the result is a provocative study of the revolution and its aftermath.
Each month, Political Art and the Public Sphere features a showing or performance of some kind of "political art." "The basic idea is to consider how 'art' raises provocative social and political questions," Gilman-Opalsky said. "Programs are selected in order to generate discussion about enduring questions in political philosophy.
"Public spheres are the places where people come together to communicate, to evaluate, and to circulate ideas and arguments," he added. "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 firstname.lastname@example.org.