Professor Kalt with film protagonist Hipólito Peralta Ccama
Over 100 students from Roxbury Community College and Madison Park High School enjoyed a screening and talkback with the director and protagonist of Ñampa ñawinkuna (The Eyes of the Journey) on April 9th in the newly refurbished Media Arts Center auditorium.
Preparation for the film was truly interdisciplinary. RCC students studying Video Techniques looked closely at the framing and lighting of characters; economics students were invited to consider stewardship of natural resources and economic effects of carelessness; and, students studying Spanish considered metaphors. One student wrote an essay contrasting the spiritual worldview of Otero and Peralta with that of another Latin American Poet, Violeta Parra.
Students were inspired and motivated by the film and interaction with its creators. The full-length feature film is a soliloquy in the Quechua language, the native language of the Incas which is still in use today by over 10 million people in five countries. Throughout the film, natural phenomena such as water, wind, mountains and fog, are spoken to tenderly as the wandering healer contemplates his ancestral beliefs and their place in today’s world.
Student reaction was strong.
“The film frames inanimate things as living things…they are given responsibilities and are personified,” noted Isaiah Wilkerson.
“I did not expect to learn as much as I did, but their holistic approach toward mundane everyday things really spoke to me,” wrote Amber Johnson.
“Yesterday’s class meeting was the highlight of my year. The subject of the film and the subsequent lecture of the director touched upon matters that I am deeply interested in,” wrote Albena Orlova.
Another student, Charlene Robinson, said “After watching this film I have begun to drink more water and increase my recycling efforts. Being able to meet with the narrator and director was amazing. I really enjoyed learning more about the culture and rituals. I hope that one day I am able to visit the Apus (mountains) and enjoy the beauty and spirituality.”
Student Carmen Dumitru indicated her favorite quote from the film: “Water is like a child, moving in one direction, winding its way around the world.” This experience “definitely has awakened my interest in the Andean World,” she stated.
The event was introduced by Philosophy Professor Dustin Rollins, who held a lively discussion on the difference between accepting and celebrating diversity. Other organizers and contributors to the event included Professors Susan Kalt and Justin Petty, who coordinated with Madison Park; Professor Nasreen Latif, Professor Marlena Karami, Director of Fine and Performing Arts Marshall Hughes, Dean of Student Life Andrés Orós, Director of Academic Technology Raymind Cruz and Aki Staples.