By ALANNA KAISER
One of the stipulations of being a CGS intern is that at some point in the semester, you must plan and host a globally relevant event of some sort. The magnitude and open-endedness of this task make it both hugely daunting, and fairly exciting at the same time. This event is a chance to showcase what each intern is specifically interested in and present whatever that may be in the framework of a global context. In my case, my area of interest relates to sustainability, and my event will reflect that in some way.
Obviously, the hardest thing about planning any event is actually brainstorming what the event will even be. At this point, I’m fairly sure that my event is going to be a film screening followed by either a round table discussion or panel discussion about the film and its main themes. I prefer film screenings to lectures because they are always different based on the content of the film, and can be conducive to just as much learning as a lecture, but with more visual stimulation to keep people engaged. The panel or round table discussion following the screening will serve as a good way to discuss the topics presented in the film, and hear what others have to say as well. If the panel discussion does happen instead of the round table discussion, there will be expert opinion presented by Penn State professors and/or faculty.
One of the challenges of hosting a film screening is obtaining the rights to a film. With this in mind, I set out to find a film that would fit the bill of my event, and would have fairly accessible rights. A few days into my search, I came across the website, Global Oneness Project, which seemed to answer all of my prayers. Global Oneness Project is an online conglomeration of films and resources that are readily accessible for any class, event, or gathering of 10 or more people. The G.O.P explains their reasoning behind the availability of their films by saying, “Through film screenings, we hope to stimulate dialogue, support community engagement, and inspire action.” Most of the films explore fields like health, ecology, social justice, tolerance, etc. all around the world. This website seems like an absolutely perfect one to get my film from for my event.
As of now, the film that I will be choosing is “A Thousand Suns,” a 30-minute documentary that tells the story of the Gamo Highlands in the African Rift Valley. The film explores the ideologies of the people in this region, and examines their relationship with the earth, and how it has affected the land around them. Ideally, any discussion that will happen after the screening will focus on how globalization is affecting global ideology and man’s relationship to nature, as well as the impacts that globalization is having on the lives of traditional people. With any luck, I plan on having guest professors from the African studies department and possibly the international agriculture department join and direct the conversation.
Clearly, this event is still in the works. However, I am very, very excited about it already, and plan on making it one worthwhile. With that in mind, keep an ear out about my event! It will most likely be taking place in late November/early December, and all are welcome! It is sure to be an interesting and thought-provoking evening.