Feb 2 on FM: South Sudan gives birth, Athena Film Fest, “The Heavens Weep”

Hosted by Ariana Manov, Lynn Harris Ballen and Celina Alvarez.

Can they deliver? African women are birthing a “new” state in South Sudan, after laboring for decades for their basic human and civil rights in the face of genocide. Amanda Hsaio from the policy team of the Enough Project provides background info and focuses on political and security developments, including satellite sentinels. Agnes Oswaha, the Culture, Community, and Consular Affairs Officer of the South Sudanese government, describes what’s happening with women on the ground.

And we hear from Women and Hollywood blogger Melissa Silverstein (soon to be on IndieWire) who’s curating the first Athena Film Festival: A Celebration of Women and Leadership at Barnard College in New York City. With films about the diversity of women’s leadership in real life docs and the fictional world, the festival aims to open a conversation about courage & resilience across race, class, and culture. All this, plus celebrating Film & the women who write and direct, are behind and in front of the camera, and in the industry at-large.

And Pasadena author Thelma Reyna presents her book The Heavens Weep for Uss which brings to life the stories of ordinary people. She will also give us a taste of her soon to be released book of poetry Breath and Bone. Reyna has written literary and academic journals, poetry and book reviews and is also an editor and writing consultant who owns her own business. Having worked as an administrator for the Pasadena school district, Reyna understands the importance of educating youth around issues of literacy.

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(left: the state of South Sudan; middle: Athena Film Festival; right: The Heavens Weep for Us)020211

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