Event: March 27 – BDS Film & Media Studies Workshop at Concordia University in Montreal

BDS Film & Media Studies Workshop at Concordia University in Montreal

Co-sponsored by the Middle East Caucus of SCMS in conjunction with USACBI, Faculty 4 Palestine, and Cinema Politica.

Date / Time: Friday, March 27th at 5:30 pm
Room Location: VA 114 in the VA building of Concordia University, Montreal

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/714964448619407/

This workshop will serve to unpack ideologically charged perceptions of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [BDS] and Palestine solidarity work within film and media studies. Presenters will historicize the concomitant emergence of film studies and academic boycotts, covering issues such as surveillance and censorship, Palestinian cinematic practice and teaching, the ideological targeting of “pro-Palestinian” professors and curricula, and the well-funded promotion of government- and lobby group-funded Israeli film programs, cultural research, and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim public relations campaigns. The workshop”s compositional diversity–scholars and practitioners–encourages constructive dialogue by drawing from scholarly research as well as personal experience, aiming to dispel common myths about academic and cultural boycott as well as providing space in which to consider BDS” significance for our discipline.

BDS emerged in 2005 following the failed Israeli–Palestinian “peace process.” Founded by a group of Palestinian activists and based on international law, the broad civil society BDS petition was signed ten years ago by a global array of academics, activists, artists and independent scholars, developing into an international call to boycott Israeli cultural and academic institutions as well as products, and bearing strong resemblance to the 1980s South African anti-Apartheid movement that swept across U.S. campuses. Although film and media scholars have acknowledged the increasing Israeli government, military, and pro-Zionist organizational deployment of film and media to promote positive images of Israel and debunk its critics at the derogatory expense of Palestinians/Arabs/Muslims, far less attention has been lent BDS” own media work (e.g., presenter Malcolm Guy’s videos solidarity videos). Most North American academic organizations and institutions have been slow to respond to the general issue, even as BDS resolutions have recently been passed by several prominent US-based societies, thus increasing BDS activity in the cultural and educational sectors, including film studies and the film industry. Still, many remain unaware of BDS” goals, methods, and the conditions of its emergence.

Chair: Samirah Alkassim, Independent Film Scholar, Filmmaker & Program Manager at the Palestine Center in Washington, D.C.

Terri Ginsberg, Professor of Film at the American University in Cairo.

Malcolm Guy, President and Co-founder of Productions Multi-Monde, Director & Producer of documentary and fiction films.

Colleen Jankovic, Independent Film Scholar, Filmmaker & Blogger who posts original video essays about film, visual culture, and politics on her website: colleen-jankovic.squarespace.com.

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