This week on State of Wonder, immerse yourself in a sonic wonderland of Arvo Pärt's music, catch a short film at the airport and hear from local artists about their experience as refugees.
Iraqi Artist Farooq Hassan On Painting and War - 1:06
President Donald Trump’s new travel ban has implications for scores of artists, whether they’re doing a residency, in contention for an Oscar, or running from a war. For nearly 40 years, the painter Farooq Hassan showed work in museums all over the Middle East, including the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, and designed many Iraqi stamps. After the U.S. invasion in 2003, everything changed. Hassan's daughter Dalia Hussein worked for the U.S. military and the "Washington Post" for six years before she became such a target for anti-American forces that they sought safe harbor in the U.S. Incorporating vibrant colors and collage, Hassan’s work now focuses on Iraqi women afflicted with the wounds of war. Although they are now citizens, Hassan and Hussein are uncertain what the future may hold for them here in the US.
Director and Actor Elizabeth Huffman on Displacement - 7:13
Living as a displaced person is perhaps less about the country stamped on your visa, and more about learning to live in the face of loss. Portland-based Syrian-American director and actor Elizabeth Huffman expresses this loss in all avenues of her work. She is currently directing “At the Periphery” by Turkish playwright Sedef Ecermas, which will have a staged reading on Feb. 4 as part of Boom Arts' Global Voices Lab, a festival of timely plays from around the world (Feb. 4–11).
The Portland Dream Couple: PDX Carpet, Meet the Hollywood Theatre - 15:13
Portlanders love to love their airport. There’s Powell’s, Stumptown Coffee, the local restaurants, and perhaps the most beloved carpet in the world. So what else could PDX put in front of passengers? While other airports add yoga rooms and ice skating rinks in the ever-expanding race to tempt more travelers, PDX has welcomed an outpost of the iconic Hollywood Theater to be America’s only airport cinema. Located on the C Concourse, it will show shorts made by local filmmakers, animators, and documentarians. We get a first look.
Portland Black Film Festival Challenges the Canon - 20:35
What a difference a year makes. In early 2016, film audiences, artists and critics pointed out festering problems with the overwhelming whiteness of the Hollywood movie industry. One year later, you can walk into metro-area theaters and see films like "Fences," "Moonlight," and "Hidden Figures" rewriting the script for how far black artists and directors can go. If the films in wide release leave you hungry for more, the Portland Black Film Festival gets in gear Feb. 9–20 with everything from Prince’s electric concert film “Sign O’ The Times” to Raoul Peck’s James Baldwin doc "I Am Not Your Negro" to Pam Grier in the iconic “Coffy." And to top it off, Grier will be in attendance for a Q&A on Feb. 11. Serious.
Portland Holds First Arvo Pärt Festival in U.S.
Portland-based vocal ensemble Cappella Romana creates otherworldly mystic sounds with layers of harmony, plumbing that space where Eastern and Western sacred music meet. While most of their repertory involves the old world, one contemporary composer embodies their approach to choral music — Arvo Pärt. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Cappella Romana has joined with the Third Angle New Music Ensemble and other musicians to organize the first North American festival dedicated to Pärt. From Feb. 5–12, they will offer eight live chamber performances, documentary film screenings and lectures interpreting the most performed living composer in the world.