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November 22, 2006

GRANITO DE ARENA, A FILM ABOUT A GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT OF TEACHERS IN MEXICO, TO BE SHOWN AT SIMON'S ROCK

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA — The acclaimed independent film Granito de Arena, about the grassroots movement of teachers in Mexico who are struggling to maintain the public education system in the face of global economic pressure to privatize, will be screened on Monday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Lecture Center at Simon’s Rock College.

Granito de Arena, released in 2005, was filmed in Mexico by filmmaker Jill Freidberg (This Is What Democracy Looks Like, 2000). The 60-minute film features a combination of footage and archival images, interspersed with interviews, including ones with Eduardo Galeano, an Uruguayan journalist, and Maude Barlow, a Canadian author and activist, to document 20 years of resistance.

A teach-in following the film will be led by Simon’s Rock senior Katharina Kempf, who studied last year at Unitierra, an alternative university in Oaxaca, and is currently analyzing the Oaxacan conflict in her senior thesis. Topics to be discussed include the teachers’ strike in May, the subsequent police repression, the creation of a people’s government (the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca, or APPO), and the current struggle between the federal police and the protesters.

The event is free, but a donation of $10 will be accepted to benefit Unitierra. The founders of Unitierra, Mexican professors Gustavo Esteva and Sergio Beltrán, have created a website, www.oaxacalibre.org, which provides daily updates in order to raise international awareness about the conflict in Oaxaca.

For more information, please contact Katharina Kempf at kkempf or (413) 644-4734.

Simon's Rock Media Contact:
Briee Della Rocca: 413 644-4706
E-mail: bdellarocca@simons-rock.edu