Meadows symposium focuses on human rights with filmmaker Patrick Mureithi

Patrick MureithiAward-winning documentary filmmaker Patrick Mureithi (pictured right) is the special guest for SMU’s third annual Communicating Excellence Symposium, “Better Communication for Better Leaders on Human Rights.” The Division of Communication Studies in Meadows School of the Arts presents the 2011 symposium March 7-9 in Owen Arts Center.

The three-day symposium focuses on communication issues affecting the struggle for human rights. Mureithi will host a screening of his film ICYIZERE: hope, a documentary about a gathering of survivors and perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide. Mureithi, who currently serves as artist-in-residence at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, will lead a discussion after the 55-minute screening.

All symposium events are open to the public. Admission is free, and no reservations are necessary. For more information, call Rebecca Hewitt, 214-768-1574.

Symposium schedule:

Monday, March 7 – Lecture: “Death as a Text: The Rhetoric of Genocide”
7 p.m. reception – Greer Garson Theatre, Mezzanine Lobby – Second Floor
7:30 p.m. lecture – Greer Garson Theatre, Room 3527 – Third Floor
Ben Voth, chair of the Division of Communication Studies, will address communication’s role in creating, containing and resolving the international problems of genocide and “eliminationism.”

Tuesday, March 8 – Debate: “U.S. intervention in humanitarian crises?”
7 p.m. debate – O’Donnell Auditorium, Room 2130 – Second Floor
8 p.m. reception – Taubman Atrium – First Floor
The SMU debate team will discuss the pros and cons of a possible new U.S. policy of humanitarian intervention.

Wednesday, March 9 – Film ICYIZERE: hope and discussion with guest filmmaker Patrick Mureithi
7 p.m. screening – O’Donnell Auditorium, Room 2130 – Second Floor
8:30 p.m. reception – Taubman Atrium – First Floor
Award-winning documentary filmmaker Mureithi, a Kenyan native, traveled to Rwanda to film a gathering of 10 survivors and 10 perpetrators of the 1994 genocide. ICYIZERE: hope documents the experiences of the participants as they are taught about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and go through a series of group exercises to help build trust. The film also explores how the media was used to incite fear, hatred and ultimately genocide, and the filmmaker’s belief that media can similarly be used to unite and to heal. The film has been shown to audiences throughout Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States and has received widespread acclaim.