October 20, 2008

Vanderbilt Screening October 16 2008

On the Map was screened at Vanderbilt University on Thursday evening, October 16th at Vanderbilt University. It was part of the International Lens programme which exposes students to film twice weekly, from directors around the world.

Vanderbilt University was founded around 1873 and is a beautiful old campus with huge oak trees and wonderful facilities.

Screened in the Commons of the spanking new faciltities for Freshman students, the screening room was filled with students, professors and other residents from the Nashville community.

In the discussion session to follow, I was surprised to learn that there was an ex-immigration officer from Barbados in the audience. She made an intervention which recalled the entering of an undocumented migrant's home at three in the morning, resulting in the deportation of an elderly Vincentian woman. This incident came about because a Barbadian felt the need to call immigration to squeel on this illegal immigrant, who according to the speaker, was not harming anyone. She wondered out loud why someone would feel the need to call immigration for this sixty-five year old women, who as a result of the deportation. lost everything she had worked for.

Another member of the audience expressed interest in screening On the Map with some community based organisations in Nashville. I suggested that since Nashville has immigrant populations including migrants from East Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia, it might be useful to link with other immigrant community groups and screen it with these people.

Thanks to Ifeoma Nwankwo for the initial invitation to screen On the Map at Vanderbilt, JoEl Loguidice of International Lens, Frank Dobson, head of the Black Cultural Centre and Dean Frank Wisclo who hosted the pre-screening reception at his home on campus.

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