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Media Advisory

Spelman College


Media Contact(s) :

Spelman College
Terrilyn Simmons



ATLANTA (April 4, 2012) -- On Saturday, April 7, the Atlanta community will have an opportunity to witness an artistic account of the experiences of ordinary Egyptians living in these extraordinary times during the multi-disciplinary presentation Bearing Witness: the stories of ordinary people living during extraordinary times. Phase one of a two-phase project, this multi-media performance will fuse poetry, dance, video, installation art and photography to symbolize bridging differences through collective consciousness and awareness. Free and open to the public, the event will take place in the Cosby Academic Center lobby at Spelman College at 8 p.m.

Arturo Lindsay, D.A., professor of art and art history at Spelman conceived the project recognizing that “during extraordinary times, stories tend to be told more sincerely. The idea of ‘bearing witness’ fosters dialogue and bridge-building by allowing members of the community to voice their stories in a friendly forum. The stories will provide the participants with a single focus thereby creating collaborative and inter-disciplinary works of art.”

To replicate Tahrir Square, a notable location for major protests and demonstrations in Cairo, Egypt, the installation will consist of eight to ten pedestals with video monitors playing newscasts of the 2011 Egyptian revolution. The repository of news clips collected from national outlets such as NPR, BBC, the New York Times, Aljazeera, and CNN served as inspiration for the participants to create their performance.

Along with Dr. Lindsay, principal collaborators from Spelman include T. Lang, assistant professor, Drama and Dance; Sharan Strange, instructor, English; Opal Moore, associate professor, English; Laura English Robinson, instructor, Music; and Joe Jennings, director, Spelman College Jazz Ensemble.

The second phase of the project will allow witnessing on a more intimate level as the project moves to Cairo where Dr. Lindsay will partner with local arts organizations to engage underserved youth and create community-based projects. The Egyptian partner organization is Medrar for Contemporary Art, which works with and supports young emerging artists in Egypt and encourages cross-cultural dialogue. The project will target broad audiences from both Egypt and the U.S.

Bearing Witness was developed in collaboration with Atlanta and Cairo based artists, educators, technicians and students. It is one of 15 projects initiated by the smARTpower program to foster people to people diplomacy worldwide. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Bronx Museum of Art in the U.S. in collaboration with Medrar for Contemporary Art in Cairo, Egypt.

The second smARTpower artist to travel abroad, Lindsay has had an extensive and distinguished career. He has collaborated on projects with members of street gangs, day laborers, intellectuals, artists, poets, architects, academics and government officials from various national and cultural backgrounds. For more information, visit Inside Spelman.


About Spelman College
Founded in 1881, Spelman College is a prestigious, highly selective, liberal arts college that prepares women to change the world. Located in Atlanta, Ga., this historically black college boasts an 83 percent graduation rate, and outstanding alumnae such as Children's Defense Fund Founder Marian Wright Edelman; former U.S. Foreign Service Director General Ruth Davis; authors Tina McElroy Ansa and Pearl Cleage; and actress LaTanya Richardson. More than 85 percent of the full-time faculty members have Ph.D.s or other terminal degrees, and the average faculty to student ratio is 11:1. Approximately 2,100 students attend Spelman. Spelman College has been ranked as the number one HBCU for five consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report; number 62 among Best Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report; and 12th for Best Career Services by The Princeton Review. For more information, visit: www.spelman.edu.




Do You Know Spelman's QEP?

"Going Global"

As part of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) re-accreditation process, Spelman is developing a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP).

"Going Global,” Spelman's QEP,will enhance and support global experiences for students. The purpose is to enhance the College's infrastructure to connect global experiences that cultivate international awareness and cross-cultural competencies in a more intentional way. [MORE]