From Feminism to Farming

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

We’ll find out how the rise of political Islam has intensified the debate in the Middle East over women’s rights and led to a growing Islamic feminist movement. Then, we preview a festival of early films made throughout the metropolitan area. And we’ll talk about a new documentary that looks at the unintended consequences of international efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa. Plus, one man’s quest to live off the land…in Flatbush, Brooklyn.

Women Transforming the Middle East

Isobel Coleman, senior fellow for U.S. foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses how the rise of a political Islam, which often condemns women’s empowerment as anti-Islamic, Western cultural imperialism, has strengthened the women’s movement. InParadise Beneath Her Feet: How Women Are Transforming the Middle East, she shows how the growing movement of Islamic feminism has led Muslim women and men to develop progressive interpretations of Islam to support women’s rights.

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Hollywood on the Hudson

Film historian Richard Koszarski and Ron Hutchinson, founder of the Vitaphone Project, an organization devoted to hunting down lost film shorts, talk about “Hollywood on the Hudson,” a festival of silent films and early talkies made in New York City. “Hollywood on the Hudson” is screening films Tuesdays, July 13-August 10, at Film Forum.

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"Good Fortune" and Aid in Africa

Director Landon Van Soest and producer/editor Jeremy Levine discuss their film “Good Fortune,” a look at how massive international efforts to address poverty in Africa may be undermining the communities they aim to benefit. The film tells the stories of two Kenyans fighting to save their homes from large-scale development, and shows the effects of foreign aid on those it means to help. 


Living Off the Land

Manny Howard talks about turning his yard in Flatbush, Brooklyn, into a farm and his goal of subsisting on what it produced for at least a month. His book My Empire of Dirt: How One Man Turned His Big-City Backyard into a Farm is based on his James Beard Foundation Award–winning New York magazine cover story, which began as an assessment of the locavore movement. He didn’t set out to grow his own food to make an environmental or ethical point, but rather to see if it was even possible to grow his own food and feed his family from his own land.

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