Apr
5
Mon
SouthTalks: “Mossville: When Great Trees Fall” @ Online
Apr 5 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The MFA Program in Documentary Expression welcomes filmmaker Alexander Glustrom as its Visiting Documentarian for Spring 2021. Glustrom has directed, shot, produced, and edited a wide variety of film projects ranging from commercial, music, and art videos that have reached hundreds of thousands online, to documentaries that have been featured in film festivals internationally. He has shot footage that has aired on HBO, CNN, Fusion, NYtimes.com, Great Big Story and Democracy Now. He has also created a number of fundraising videos that have raised thousands of dollars for New Orleans youth programs. Glustrom’s first feature film was the award-winning documentary, “Big Charity” which he directed, shot, produced and edited.

His second feature documentary and the one he will screen on Monday, April 5, Mossville has won more than fifteen awards at festivals around the world and is currently broadcasting nationally on PBS and is scheduled to be shown to the United Nations in Geneva in Spring of 2021.

Mossville, Louisiana is a shadow of its former self – a community rich in natural resources and history, founded by formerly enslaved people, where neighbors lived in harmony, insulated from the horrors of Jim Crow.  Today, however, Mossville no longer resembles the town it once was.  Surrounded by 14 petrochemical plants, Mossville is the future site of apartheid-born South African-based chemical company Sasol’s newest plant – a $21.2 billion project and the largest in the western hemisphere.

The community struggles to let go of their ancestral home – and at the center of it all is a man named Stacey Ryan.  Stacey is 48 years old and a lifelong resident of Mossville. In the past ten years Stacey has lost both parents to cancer and seen the neighborhood he grew up in demolished to make way for Sasol’s new multi-billion dollar project.  He experiences these changes from the view of his parent’s home, a FEMA trailer smack in the middle of where the new Sasol facility is being built – and he refuses to leave. Having promised his dying parents to fight the sprawling chemical companies, Stacey struggles to keep his word as his power, water, and sewage are all cut off, and his health continues to decline from ongoing chemical exposure. His dilemma is a moral one, too: he has a 5­-year-­old son living nearby with the child’s mother that he wants to move out of state, yet for now, the pull of that promise to his parents keeps him living in the middle of a construction site.  As Sasol encroaches on citizens’ property with buyout offers, Stacey and other community members have to decide whether to exist in a chemical war zone, or abandon land that has been in their families for generations.

This event is cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the Oxford Film Festival.

Please note you will be able to screen the film April 2–9. The public talk is at 6 p.m. CST on April 5.

Apr
12
Mon
M.F.A. Artist Talk with Andrea Morales @ Online
Apr 12 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Join M.F.A. candidate Andrea Morales in discussion with Ralph Eubanks as she discusses her thesis project “Roll Down Like Water.”
Andrea Morales is a documentary photographer and journalist born in Lima, Peru and raised in Miami, Florida. Her personal work attempts to lens the issues of displacement, disruption, and everyday magic. Adding glimpses of daily life to the record is central to how she makes work. While earning a B.S. in journalism at the University of Florida and an M.A. in visual communication at Ohio University, she worked as a photojournalist in newsrooms including the New York Times and The Concord Monitor. She is currently a producer at the Southern Documentary Project, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi and the visual director for the MLK50: Justice Through Journalism.
W. Ralph Eubanks is a visiting professor of Southern Studies, English, and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. Eubanks is author of “The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South” and “Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey into Mississippi’s Dark Past,” which Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley named as one of the best nonfiction books of the year. Eubanks’s most recent book “A Place Like Mississippi” was published in March 2021.
Sep
10
Fri
Mississippi Creates @ Old Armory Pavilion
Sep 10 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Mississippi Creates: Annemarie Anderson, Kelly Spivey, and Schaefer Llana

The Center for the Study of Southern Culture and Yoknapatawpha Arts Council partner for the premiere of Mississippi Creates, an event that pairs musical performance with short documentary films, providing a glimpse into the creative life and environments of two local musicians: Tyler Keith and Schaefer Llana. This pair of films is part of a larger series that highlights artists and performers who have been influenced or inspired by the culture and sounds of Mississippi. The screening includes a live musical performance by Schaefer Llana and will be followed by a brief Q&A with the musician and film directors Annemarie Anderson and Kelly Spivey. This event is free to the public and open to all ages. Bring your own chairs and refreshments.

Annemarie Anderson is the oral historian for the Southern Foodways Alliance. She manages and conducts oral history work throughout the South. At age 10 Schaefer Llana moved from St. Louis, Missouri, to Batesville, Mississippi, where she learned to play piano and guitar. Kelly Spivey is a documentarian living and working in Memphis, Tennessee. She holds a BFA in photography from SCAD, and both an MA in Southern Studies and an MFA in Documentary Expression from the University of Mississippi.

Mississippi Creates is made possible by Cathead, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, and the Mississippi Humanities Council. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show starts at 8 p.m.

Dec
1
Wed
SouthTalks: Road through Midnight: A Civil Rights Memorial @ Online
Dec 1 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Road through Midnight: A Civil Rights Memorial

Jessica Ingram and David Wharton

Jessica Ingram’s Road through Midnight: A Civil Rights Memorial was shortlisted for the 2020 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation First PhotoBook Award and named one of the New York Times Best Art Books of 2020. The result of nearly a decade of research and fieldwork, Ingram’s work unlocks complex histories of the civil rights era, reframing commonplace landscapes as sites of both remembrance and resistance—as the fight for civil rights goes on and memorialization has become the literal subject of contested cultural and societal ground.

Ingram works with multimedia and archives to explore the ethos of communities and notions of progress and resistance in American culture. Raised in Tennessee, she received her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and her MFA from California College of the Arts. Her work has been featured in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Oxford American, Vice, Wired, NPR, and as an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival.

In this SouthTalk about her work and on Road through Midnight, Ingram will be in conversation with assistant professor of Southern Studies and director of documentary studies David Wharton. Wharton has an MFA in photography and a PhD in American studies, both from the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of three books of photographs, with a fourth due to be published in 2022. He has taught at the University of Mississippi’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture since 1999.

SouthTalks is a series of events (including lectures, performances, film screenings, and panel discussions) that explores the interdisciplinary nature of Southern Studies. This series is free and open to the public, and typically takes place in the Tupelo Room of Barnard Observatory unless otherwise noted. However, as a result of the ongoing health crisis, many events will be virtual, free, and made accessible on the Center’s YouTube channel after each live event. Visit the Center’s website for up-to-date-information about all Center events. Registration will be required for all events in order to receive the event link.