SPRINGFIELD - The next program in the University of Illinois at Springfield's Political Art and the Public Sphere series will be a screening of the comedic documentary "The Yes Men" at 6 p.m. Monday, March 24, 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 2003 film follows what happens when The Yes Men, a small group of prankster activists, create a website satirizing the World Trade Organization. The imitation is so clever that it's mistaken for the real thing and group members are soon invited to important functions as WTO representatives. The "delegates" are delighted to represent an organization they oppose and, appropriately dressed for the task, they set out to shock other participants through darkly comic satire that highlights the worst aspects of global free trade.
Series facilitator Richard Gilman-Opalsky, assistant professor of political philosophy at UIS, explained that the basic idea behind PAPS is to consider how "art" can raise important social and political questions. "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.