Tuesday, June 9, 2020

A message of solidarity on behalf of the faculty in the Department of Cinematic Arts.

As the nation and world grapple with the intolerable reality of police brutality and systemic racism displayed in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many other African Americans, we in the Department of Cinematic Arts wish to express our community’s anger and sorrow at this pandemic of injustice and to declare our solidarity with the peaceful protesters both near and far.  We condemn all forms of violence, oppression, and discrimination and acknowledge the pain of the Black community’s traumatic relationship to law enforcement.  We stand in alliance with our Black colleagues, students, and staff at the University of Iowa and beyond who experience the ongoing legacy of racism, white supremacy, and institutionalized violence on a daily basis.  Systemic racism binds the fabric of our society in visible and sometimes not so visible ways.  As we know, cinema and all forms of media have always played a central role in this process.  While they provide a key to threading and strengthening the racist fabric of our society they also hold a key to potentially unthreading and remaking that flawed fabric. As a community of media educators, we believe deeply in our responsibility to rethread the fabric of our society and to create positive change through tackling cinema’s complicated relationship to histories of violence, injustice, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination.  As committed as we already are to opposing social injustice and discrimination in all shapes and forms, we also pledge to do more -- personally and collectively -- to uphold our department’s and the University of Iowa’s core values of a discrimination-free learning and work environment where all are welcome and safe.  We hereby commit to build upon the words in this statement through actions that will combat racism and strengthen our resolve to respect difference in our community of faculty, students, and staff.  As we work together to implement this goal we would greatly appreciate suggestions from staff and students.

Please feel free to send your suggestions to me (paula-amad@uiowa.edu) or any faculty member when you have time.  Although we may not be in session right now, much reflection and planning occur over the Summer and we welcome your perspectives and input on these important conversations.

As a community of academics, we also appreciate the statements of solidarity from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies and the University of Film and Video Association:




In peace and solidarity,

The Faculty of the Department of Cinematic Arts