Friday, April 10, 2015

Even the Rain at the Shepard Symposium: Water Wars and Social Justice

“Mark Twain once said, ‘whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting’,” Interim Latina/o Studies Director, Jacqueline “J.J.” Shinker, said after last Tuesday’s screening of Even the Rain at the Berry Center Auditorium.

Even the Rain is a feature-length drama portraying a group of Bolivian film extras who launch a protest against the privatization of their water supply, a struggle echoing the Spanish conquest and exploitation of the New World.

After the film, J.J. led a discussion about the Bolivian water wars and their relevance in the United States. J.J. believes that the current drought in California foreshadows the likely future of water resources. “There are many houses in California that currently do not have water because of the drought,” she said. “This is a big issue that we are facing, in the past, and in the future.”
Jacqueline "J.J." Shinker leading discussion after the film.

The movies shown this semester by the Latina/o Studies Department have touched on many relevant and timeless topics – politics, education, culture, the environment, and access to natural resources.

The screening of Even the Rain was orchestrated by the Latina/o Studies Department, M.A.S.S. Club, and M.E.Ch.A. as part of the 2015 Shepard Symposium on Social Justice. During the discussion that followed the screening, students said that they found the film to be “intense” and “powerful” because it hit so close to home.

“Something we all have in common in this room is that we all need fresh water to survive,” said J.J., “And this makes it worth fighting for.”

Posted by Meghan Neville.

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