September 16, 2021

This Body | Beyond Resilience Virtual Screening + Q&A

Firelight Media and WORLD Channel presented a free virtual screening of the new short documentary film This Body, directed by Zac Manuel as part of the Hindsight series, followed by a livestream Q&A with the filmmaker and special guests.

This Body explores the fraught relationship between African Americans and the medical industry. As Sydney Hall participates in an experimental coronavirus vaccine trial in hopes of protecting her beloved New Orleans community, she and her loved ones confront the history of medical abuse and experimentation on Black bodies. The Q&A centers around the history of medical racism in the U.S. and its impact on vaccine hesitancy in some communities of color, as explored through the documentary.

Host:

Marcia Smith, president and co-founder, Firelight Media

Moderator:

Tambay Obenson, staff writer, IndieWire
Tambay Obenson founded the Shadow & Act outlet in 2009, building what would become the premiere online destination for Black film and television coverage and criticism, with a global perspective. He sold it to Blavity Inc in 2017. Tambay is currently staffed at IndieWire, where he's been a full-time writer since 2018.

Panelists:

Zac Manuel, Filmmaker, This Body

Dr. Thomas A. LaVeist, Dean and Weatherhead Presidential Chair in Health Equity at Tulane University
Dr. LaVeist's research and writing has focused on three broad thematic research questions: 1) What are the social and behavioral factors that predict the timing of various related health outcomes (e.g. access and utilization of health services, mortality, entrance into nursing home?); 2) What are the social and behavioral factors that explain race differences in health outcomes?; and 3) What has been the impact of social policy on the health and quality of life of African Americans? His work includes both qualitative and quantitative analysis. LaVeist seeks to develop an orienting framework in the development of policy and interventions to address race disparities in health-related outcomes. Specific areas of expertise include: U.S. health and social policy, the role of race in health research, social factors contributing to mortality, longevity and life expectancy, quantitative and demographic analysis and access, and utilization of health services.

Shana M. Griffin, Black feminist activist, independent researcher, applied sociologist, geographer, artist, mother, and abolitionist
Shana is a Black feminist activist, independent researcher, applied sociologist, geographer, artist, mother, and abolitionist. Shana lives within the Black geographies of New Orleans and engages its feminist pedagogies—participating in research, organizing projects, and art practices that attend to the lived experiences of the black Diaspora. Shana currently serves as Interim Executive Director of Antenna, a multidisciplinary visual and literary arts organization, and is the founder of PUNCTUATE, a recently established feminist research, art, and activist initiative foregrounding the embodied aesthetics and practices of black feminist thought. She holds a Master’s of Arts in Sociology and two Bachelors of Arts degrees in History and Sociology from the University of New Orleans. Whether serving on a board, a member of a collective, conducting research, collaborating on a project, documenting social movements, organizing a conference, coordinating an action, creating feminist projects with her daughter, leading a campaign, or establishing a new initiative or organization, Shana's work is expansive and exists in multiple social justice formations, contexts, and capacities as noted below.

This Body is part of the Hindsight series from Firelight Media, Reel South, and the Center for Asian American Media, which chronicles the lived experiences of BIPOC communities in the American South and Puerto Rico during the unprecedented events of 2020. The entire series is now streaming via Reel South, the PBS App, and WORLD Channel’s YouTube page. This Body made its digital premiere via The Guardian.

The Beyond Resilience Series is sponsored by Open Society Foundations. Beyond Resilience is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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