Thursday, February 20, 2014

Civil Rights Film Series Launches at SSU

By Jesse Steele
Gordon College News Service
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

SALEM – In the 1960s, Judy Richardson left college to be a part of the freedom movement throughout the southern states. She became a staff member for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and later used what she learned to produce a number of documentaries about the topic for Public Broadcasting Services (PBS).

Now Richardson, a distinguished visiting professor at Brown University, spends her fall semesters teaching a civil rights documentary course, and her spring moderating workshops and discussions throughout the region.  As part of its Black History Month, Salem State University has invited Richardson to talk about how far the civil rights movement brought the country, but also the challenges that still remain in moving towards reconciliation.  

“If we think only Martin Luther King Jr. made the difference, then we will not know that we can do it again,” Richardson said.

Richardson will be on campus February 28th as SSU also launches its spring film series titled, “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle.” The series begins with a screening of Stanley Nelson’s Freedom Riders, a documentary recalling the events of 1961 when over 400 students, black and white, traveled around the south to challenge segregation. While the Freedom Riders faced violence and, for some, jail time their nonviolent protests against racism sent a message of hope for a better future. Similar films about the civil rights movement will be shown monthly throughout the spring.

“Our platform is to have meaningful conversations about what (still) needs to be done,” said Bethany Jay, assistant professor of history at SSU.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Father & Daughter’s Documentary Revisits the Armenian Genocide

By Katherine Stephens
Gordon College News Service
February 18, 2014
(This story was published Feb. 20, 2014, in the print and online editions of The Gloucester Times.)

GLOUCESTER—If Nubar Alexanian, a Gloucester resident, was to ask someone in a local coffee shop about the Armenian genocide of 1915, he might get a confused look and embarrassed shake of the head. But if Nubar was to walk into a coffee shop in Istanbul, Turkey, and mention the genocide to the barista, he could end up in hand cuffs.

Both situations—ignorance and Turkish denial—are why Nubar, 63, and his daughter Abby, 25, decided to make a documentary called “Journey to Armenia” about their own personal and familial connections to the 1915 genocide. The Cape Ann Forum will premiere a 15-minute sample of the documentary on Feb. 23 at the Cape Ann Community Cinema in Gloucester from 7 PM to 8:30 PM, including a question and answer time with Nubar and Abby. The full 60-minute film should be released in February 2015..

“The stories aren’t being told and that’s why we’re doing this movie,” said Nubar, a second generation Armenian in the United States. “It was my daughter who asked me to go to Armenia with her. I had never thought about going before, because I’m American and the genocide was in the past. Then I realized I didn’t even know anything about it. Both sets of my grandparents fled the genocide, but they never talked about it.”

After 100 years and three generations of silence, Nubar and Abby began research, family interviews, preliminary filming, promotion and fundraising before embarking on their trip to eastern Turkey in May 2012. They traveled over 2,600 miles in three weeks, and Nubar says every village they stopped in smelled like his grandmother’s kitchen.

The Man Who Almost Ran Out of Gas

By Kevin Keohane
Gordon College News Service
February 18, 2014
(This story was published Feb. 218, 2014, in the print and online editions of The Newburyport News.)
Newburyport, Massachusetts – Ever imagine being hit in the chest with a baseball bat? What about coming to the realization that you might not see your child get married one day? A heart attack can do just that. But a heart attack is not always the end of a life, and for one Newburyport man it was the start of a new and better one.

In July 2011, Dan Tymann, now 54, suffered one that changed his life. According to the Center for Disease Control—who has named February, American Heart Month—715,000 Americans a year experience a heart attack. And over 600,000 Americans die from some form of heart disease each year, making it the number one killer in the U.S. Tymann narrowly escaped being one of them.

The family man and former corporate executive had just finished pushing himself in a Crossfit workout in Topsfield with his 22-year old daughter, Sarah, and was on his way home when he stopped for gas. He suddenly felt the impact of the proverbial baseball bat to his chest, and began considering lost time with his wife, daughter, and other important family members.

“So much goes through your mind, and I thought, this is it, my life’s over,” Tymann said. “I remember thinking, ‘God, I think I’m gonna see you soon,’ and honestly I had just kind of accepted it at that moment.”

Friday, February 7, 2014

Behind the Lens of Ipswich Photographer

By Katherine Stephens
Gordon College New Service
February 5, 2014

IPSWICH—Boston born photographer Michael Hintlian fell in love with photography at age eleven while standing on a stool peering at a roll of Kodak Plus-X Pan film soaking in the kitchen sink. His father was performing a regular ritual as a photography enthusiast in 1963, developing a single roll of film, but Christmas, somebody’s birthday, Easter and the Fourth of July were on that roll—nine months in 36 pictures.

“When he pulled those negatives out of the water, my life ended,” said Hintlian. “That image and that connection with something. That was the fix.”

Raised eight miles out of Boston in Winchester, Hintlian spent many hours in his high school’s dark room. But he knew early on that newspaper photography did not appeal to him and wanted more from the medium, which the School of Museum of Fine Arts in Boston provided for him.

Now, four decades later, his work has returned to another college. As an Ipswich-based artist, Hintlian’s photos of Guatemala are currently in an exhibit in the Gallery at Barrington Center for the Arts at Gordon College in Wenham. The exhibit, “21st c. Monochrome: New Works in Black and White Photography,” includes Hintlian’s work along side nine other area artists, and runs through March 8.

“I respond to the things I see,” said Hintlian. “I just drove to the mall and back with my wife, and I’m sitting in the passenger seat taking pictures out of the car, or I’ll walk down to the post office and shoot a whole roll of film.”