The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Chatham shows “Tapologo” film, continues South African Global Focus


Last Sunday, Chatham University, in collaboration with Sembène, held another documentary screening as part of their Out of Southern Africa film festival. This documentary will be the last in the three-part festival.

The two previous films were “Come Back Africa” and “Rough Aunties.” Both previous films focused on Southern Africa, Chatham University’s global focus for the year.

The final installment was the film “Tapologo,” about a squatter settlement in South Africa called “Freedom Park” where former sex-workers created a network they called “Tapologo.”

The film also featured Catholic bishop Kevin Dowling, who spoke at length about his concern about the official doctrine of the Catholic Church regarding AIDS, contraceptives, and sexuality in the context of this situation.

One of the largest issues addressed in the film was that of HIV/AIDS and the issues surrounding the diseases. It took an in-depth look at many victims of the disease, and made an effort to help people understand the intricacies and difficulties of their lives.

While the film shed good light on the issues that the women of South Africa have faced and are currently facing, many viewers found that the directors fell short in getting opinions from people other than 20 to 40 year-old women. Some also found the film difficult to follow, often bouncing from story to story without going deeper into the interviewees’ minds and emotions.

“I thought the movie was really good in terms of the topics it addressed, and the opinions it presented…I just wish they had focused more on one person, rather than trying to get everybody’s opinions. They tried to cover all of the ground instead of going in-depth with one person,” sophomore Maraena Testa said.

Following the screening, students and other attendees were invited to participate in a panel discussion where they had the opportunity to voice concerns about the movie, as well as talk more in depth about topics in which they were interested.

The Global Focus program has been at Chatham since 1995 and, according to the Chatham University website, “concentrates on one country or region of the world each year to enable the college community to engage in a comprehensive study of that region through coursework, class assignments, campus events, community activities, co-curricular programs and service learning projects.”

Chatham has been receiving praise for making this program an institution for as long as it has been in action, especially after the 2002-2003 school year, when it won the Institute of International Education’s Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education.

Students can expect more events like the “Tapologo” screening during the Spring 2015 semester, as well as plenty of opportunities to learn about and experience South African culture.

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