Org to showcase docs about social issues

PEACE to host documentary showings based on social problems

Olivia Storey, Staff Reporter

The student group Peace, Education and Activism through Creative Education (PEACE) will be showing free documentary films throughout the spring 2019 semester that showcase various issues of public concern.

“[The group] tries to make sure they have a different topic each month, but make sure that they have a topic related to social justice,” said Ellen Latorraca, co-staff advisor to PEACE. “They make sure to have a variety of films.”

PEACE shows monthly documentaries on the UW-W campus to inform and educate students and the community. The films shown are related to many social, political and environmental issues that surround Whitewater and the world as a whole.

“The mission for these documentaries is to get people aware of what is going on in the world, whether that be locally such as Janesville or Milwaukee, or whether that be in another country such as Mexico or China,” said PEACE president Emily Arenz. “Films, especially documentaries, play such an important role in sharing the various narratives of the diverse world we live in and the particular films PEACE shows have the ability to teach people a concept, idea, movement or identity that they might not have been familiar with until they watch our films.”

PEACE aims to engage students and community members in discussion, dialogue, and overall inform people of issues going on in the world they may not be knowledgeable of.

The documentaries that will be shown this semester each focus on different social issues; factory farming, medical issues, disability awareness, even the legacy of Fred Rodgers from “Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood”.

The group, in order to help promote discussion and dialogue, use other tools to help engage audiences.

“Not only do we show these free films, but we usually combine another aspect of learning or engagement to correspond with the film,” Arenz said. “For example, in the past, we have included discussion panels after the film ends or we attempt to create activities that surround the film, and we plan to do the same with the films for this semester.”

PEACE has partnered with many other organizations at UW-W to not only promote their events, but help educate even after the film ends.

“We are in the process of working with SAGE (Students Allied for a Green Earth) to connect with our film ‘Eating Animals’, which examines the impacts of corporate farming and allows people to think about what they consume daily,” Arenz said. “The activity that connects with this film involves giving people who attend the film a little taste of vegetarian or vegan options. We plan to showcase a variety of tasty foods that are vegan or vegetarian just to break the stigma that these options are not bland or gross.”

Although the films for this semester have already been chosen, PEACE is always looking for partnership opportunities.

“If another organization brings up a film they want to show, [PEACE] will look at that,” Latorraca said. “The group is always looking for other organizations to recommend films.”

Outside of documentaries, PEACE has other small-impact activities planned.

“We are planning on doing a Minimal Impact week, where we try to minimize our impact and document it via photos and posting on Facebook,” said co-staff advisor James Hartwick.

PEACE documentaries will be shown one Thursday a month in UC68 at 5 p.m. For a complete schedule of all their films, visit their Facebook page.