We begin by offering warm and long-overdue greetings to all our Salon friends, old and new. It has been quite a long time since many of you have heard from us. As many of you already know, for family reasons, Michael and Linda returned to the US for an extended period several months ago. In that time we have sorely missed Budapest, our friends, and our Salon. Finally, however, your Salon hosts are almost all the way back – that is to say, Michael is back in Budapest, and Linda will be joining him in just a few weeks. And even though we're not both back yet, we just couldn't wait to start our Salon evenings back up again!
Given our long absence, we thought we might start things up with one of our most popular events – a showing of Aishah Shahidah Simmons documentary film NO! Some of our Salon friends who have been with us the longest may have seen the film before, perhaps in the earlier, unfinished "rough cut" version. However, we also have developed many new ties with folks who are new to Budapest or just new to our Salon, who have expressed an interest in seeing the film. We would be happy to see both old and new Salon friends at this showing, especially as the discussion is always different and brings up new observations every time we show the film. Even if you have already seen the film we encourage you to invite others you may know who would be interested in the film. And for those of you eager for something new, never fear, we already have plans for more Salon evenings in the works. We are planning a showing of one episode of the civil rights documentary Eyes on the Prize on April 3, and a presentation and discussion on the Philippines for April 24.
In the meantime, without further ado, the Ráday Salon invites you to a commemoration of women's History Month with a showing of the award-winning documentary, NO! by Aishah Shahidah Simmons, on Thursday, 13 March. Eleven years in the making, NO! is a feminist educational organizing tool which is being used in the global movement to end violence against women and children. This groundbreaking documentary explores the international reality of rape and other forms of sexual assault through the first person testimonies, scholarship spirituality, activism and cultural work of African Americans. Winner of an audience choice award and a juried award at the San Diego Women Film festival, NO! also explores how rape is used as a weapon of homophobia.
Since its official release in 2006, NO! has been screened and distributed to racially and ethnically diverse audiences at film festivals, community centers, colleges/universities, high schools, correctional facilities, rape crisis centers, battered women shelters and conferences throughout the United States, Spain, Rwanda, Kenya, Nepal, South Africa, Jordan, Burkina Faso, Peru and Mexico. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center—the comprehensive center for information, research, and emerging policy on sexual violence intervention and prevention in the United States—designated screenings and discussions of NO! in community settings as the Featured Event during their 2007 Sexual Assault Awareness Month Campaign.
For those of you who are new to our Salon, you can find all the information we have posted on previous showings for the film by clicking on NO! in the "Categories" section in the right-hand column of this page. -->
We also have a couple of new items to share with you all. In February 2008, Michael and Aishah participated in a screening and panel discussion of NO! at the Brecht Forum in New York City. One of the people who attended is a member of an organization called "SAFER (Students Active for Ending Rape)", an advocacy group in the US which works to improve universities' response to sexual assaults in the campus environment. After attending the event, she wrote two reaction pieces on the SAFER organization's blog, which you can read here:
And, for the most up-to-date information on NO!, we encourage you to visit the NO! website, at www.notherapedocumentary.org.
Every time we have shown NO!, it has sparked an active and challenging discussion. We look forward to seeing many of you there!