This Wednesday, the Wexner Center for the Arts invites students, faculty and the general public to a special screening of the Senegalese film, The Pirogue. After the screening, Assistant Professor Vera Brunner-Sung of the OSU Department of Theatre and Dr. Ousman Kobo, Associate Professor of History at OSU, will discuss the film and its insight into the narrative of migration.
Film Synopsis: "In this moving migrant drama, the captain of a small fishing boat, a pirogue, agrees to transport 30 of his fellow Senegalese compatriots across the tempestuous Mediteranian in hopes of finding better lives in Spain. The desperate travelers—all men save one female stowaway—come from different ethnic and religious backgrounds, but they share in common the dream offered by the distant coasts of Europe." (Wexner Center for the Arts film description)
"...the most powerful thing about 'The Pirogue' is the way it deals with emotionally charged events matter-of-factly, rather than melodramatically. The story Mr. Touré has chosen to tell is both painfully specific — about these individuals, in this boat — and immeasurably vast, since the experience it depicts is shared by millions of people around the world." -New York Times, review (Jan 2013)
Professor Vera Brunner-Sung is an award-winning filmmaker who uses experimental, documentary, and narrative techniques to explore the relationship between place and identity. Her work has been presented at numerous festivals, museums, and galleries in the U.S. and abroad, including CPH:DOX, Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, MoMA PS1, Filmfest Hamburg, Torino Film Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Hirshhorn Museum, and the San Diego Asian Film Festival. Her first feature film, Bella Vista, had its world premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam in 2014. In addition to making films, she is a programmer for the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and a writer; her essays, reviews, and reports have appeared in Sight & Sound, Cinema Scope, and MovieMaker among others.
Dr. Ousman Kobo has served as Visiting Assistant Professor of African history at Marquette University and Gettysburg College before joining the Ohio State University History Department in 2006. Professor Kobo's research and teaching interests include 20th century West African social and religious history; contemporary Islamic history; Sufism; Islam under French and British colonialism in Africa; and the social history of West African migrants in the United States.