SPRINGFIELD – The University of Illinois at Springfield series Political Art and the Public Sphere resumes for the fall semester with a screening of the film "Control Room" at 6 p.m. Monday, September 17, 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.
This award-winning documentary takes viewers inside Iraq and Al-Jazeera TV headquarters to provide a critical look at international perception of the war, as presented by the Arab world's most popular news outlet. Series facilitator Richard Gilman-Opalsky, UIS assistant professor of political philosophy, notes, "Al-Jazeera reveals a different picture of the Iraq War than that provided by U.S. media and the Bush administration. In this country, Al-Jazeera has been roundly criticized for reporting with a pro-Iraqi bias, and strongly condemned for airing footage of civilian casualties as well as American POWs. 'Control Room' is centrally concerned with the importance of media bias, and the degree to which media is steered by politics and the military."
Political Art and the Public Sphere is a monthly event on the UIS campus; each program features a showing or performance of some kind of "political art," followed by a group discussion of the issues it raises. Programs are selected in order to generate group discussion about enduring questions in political philosophy. "The basic idea behind PAPS is to consider how 'art' raises provocative social and political questions," Gilman-Opalsky said.
"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.