“My Name is Rachel Corrie” on Sat Feb 20


Performance of the play “My Name is Rachel Corrie”


When: Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 2:00pm
Where: Angell Hall Auditorium A, UM
Cost: Free

Sponsored by Arts at Michigan and the Michigan Student Assembly.

Click to see more details of this performance at UM, and to RSVP on FaceBook.




Rachel Corrie (1979 – 2003) was an Evergreen College student from the USA who traveled to the Gaza Strip. She was killed in 2003 by a Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer operated by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) during her protest against the destruction of Palestinian homes by the IDF at the Rafah refugee campin the Gaza Strip.

“My Name is Rachel Corrie” is a play based on the diaries and emails of Rachel Corrie. (Here are some extracts from her diaries.)

Alan Rickman first staged the play in April 2005 at the Royal Court Theatre, London, and it went on to win the London Theatregoers’ Choice Awards for Best Director and Best New Play.


Here is a documentary about the life and death of Rachel Corrie:



Here is an YouTube video featuring footage from an interview with Rachel Corrie that took place two days before her death:



Here is some additional background material about the play.

Incidentally, on January 25, 2004, the parents of Rachel Corrie spoke here at the University of Michigan.




PREVIEW: Slingshot Hip Hop, a documentary film about Palestinian hip-hop




What: Slingshot Hip Hop, a documenary film about Palestinian hip-hop music
When: Thu Feb 11, 2010, 7 – 8:30pm
Where: Rackham Amphitheater (915 E Washington Street)
Cost: Free and open to the public (Part of UM’s Black History Month celebrations)

The screening will be followed by a discussion led by Amer Ahmed, Associate Director of University of Michigan’s Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA).

Join the event on Facebook.

Click here to read the preview and review of this film from an earlier screening at UM.


Slingshot Hip Hop


Slingshot Hip Hop, a documentary film about Palestinian hip-hop music, is directed by Jackie Reem Salloum (who received her BFA from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti). The film was nominated for Grand Jury Prize in the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. (Click here for a detailed review of the film by Maureen Clare Murphy.)



Salloum spent five years making Slingshot Hip Hop, at times raising money by working at her parents’ ice cream shop in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Her production company, Fresh Booza Productions, refers to this – booza being the Arabic word for “ice cream”.


Filmmaker Jackie Reem Salloum


After the film screening, film-maker Jackie Salloum will also lead a discussion about the film.

Featured in the documentary is the Palestinian rap group DAM (Da Arabian MCs).


DAM, a Palestinian hip-hop group


You can check out an interview with Salloum in which she is discussing the film, by clicking here. You can also check out a trailer for the film.



A discussion which took place some time ago at Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse in Baltimore about this film, has this to say:

Slingshot Hip Hop braids together the stories of young Palestinians living in the West Bank, Gaza and inside Israel as they discover hip hop and employ it as a tool to surmount divisions imposed by occupation and poverty. From internal checkpoints and separation walls to gender norms and generational differences, this is the story of young people crossing the borders that separate them.



As readers of the erstwhile Arts Lounge are well aware, Ann Arbor has a thriving hip-hop culture. This will be a very interesting film to see, and will be eagerly anticipated. As Eric Snider wrote in January in a Sundance Review on the Cinematical blog:

When you hear that Slingshot Hip Hop is a documentary about Palestinian rap groups, you probably have the same thought I had: “What, that old subject again? Why can’t filmmakers come up with something original?”

Just kidding. One of the joys of a film festival is seeing documentaries on unusual topics that you had never considered before, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who didn’t know Palestine had even one rap group, let alone a major hip hop movement. First-time feature filmmaker Jackie Reem Salloum (an American with Palestinian and Syrian roots) knows that our curiosity will be piqued simply by hearing the subject matter […]

Incidentally, this film is sort of a parallel project to UM graduate student Vanessa Diaz’s film Cuban Hip-hop, about which I blogged in the erstwhile Arts Lounge some time ago. (Just as Jackie Salloum went to Palestine and made this documentary on Palestinian hip-hop, Vanessa Diaz had gone to Cuba and shot a documentary on Cuban hip-hop.)

Arts and Incarcerated Bodies

Arts and Incarcerated Bodies

Arts and Bodies

Tuesday, November 3, 7:00pm
Stamps Auditorium
Walgreen Drama Center
1226 Murfin Avenue
North Campus

In the so-called “land of the free”, the United States of America, approximately 1 in 100 adults are currently behind bars — with emotional, psychological, intellectual, and physical effects on the individuals incarcerated. What role can the arts play in liberating the human spirit from the confinement of the body?

Prof. Buzz Alexander, Jon Deak, Janie Paul, and Josh White, Jr. will have a conversation about the work they do in the arts with prisoners, and others.

Here is a description/review of a previous arts event (from last Winter) at UM that also had to do with art and incarceration.

Below are some data showing the current state of the prison-industrial complex in the USA.



Marcelo Exposito’s film “Entre Sueños” (“Between Dreams”)

Preview: Marcelo Exposito ’s film “Entre Sueños” (“Between Dreams”)

On Thursday October 15, there will be a screening and discussion of this film in the Modern Languages Building (MLB), Room 2412, at 7:30 pm.

Click here to watch Marcelo Expósito on video

Also, earlier that day, the art critic and social theorist Brian Holmes will discuss the film in the MLB Commons, 4th floor, 2-4 PM. (RSVPs need to be sent to Brian Whitener, bwhiten at umich.edu.)

Art students in Athens, December 2008: Towards a New Body. [Click to find out more.]
Art students in Athens, December 2008: Towards a New Body. [Click to find out more.]

Brian Holmes has suggested as a basis for the discussion the opening section of his new book.

The following will be discussed:

  • The Affectivist Manifesto: Artistic Critique for the 21st Century
  • Toward the New Body: Marcelo Expósito’s “Entre Sueños“
  • Recapturing Subversion: Twenty Twisted Rules for the Culture Game
  • The focus will be on the final essay (“Recapturing Subversion”) as an entry point into a general discussion.

    Preview: Brewing Hope’s Barnstorm, Oct 3

    Preview: Techno at Brewing Hope’s Barnstorm

    Brewing Hope

    When: Saturday, October 3rd, 10pm-2am

    What: Brewing Hope‘s Barnstorm

    Where: The Yellow Barn, 416 W Huron Street.

    (2 blocks west of Main St., Ann Arbor.)

    Michigan Electronic Dance Music Association (MEDMA) will be providing techno music to dance to.

    Brewing Hope

    $5 donations will benefit Music for Chiapas, a project that sends musical instruments to a co-operative in Southern Chiapas, Mexico (from where Brewing Hope gets its coffee).

    Iced coffee (Brewing Hope blend) will be provided (as well as water).

    Come out and support both your local coffee and local techno music.

    By the way, did you know that the birthplace of techno is  nearabouts here — right here in Southeastern Michigan? In Detroit, more specifically.

    Here is a poem which explains why techno was born in Detroit.

    Why techno was born in Detroit

    Sayan Bhattacharyya


    could have been invented

    only in


    Techno saw the long-playing record not as something to be thrown away

    but as a treasure to be sampled.

    Techno saw discarded shells of former factories

    not as structures to be torn down

    but as spaces in which to make music.

    Derrick May, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson

    and all the rest of the great disc jockeys

    who came out of Detroit

    wanted to achieve a transference of the spirit.

    A transference of the spirit

    from the machine of the turntable

    to the flesh of

    the dancing human body.

    A transference of the spirit.

    This dream of transference

    could have been dreamed nowhere but

    in Detroit.

    Because Detroit was home

    both to the machine and to the spirit.

    It was in Detroit

    that the fire-belching machines of the great industrial plants

    like River Rouge

    or the old Packard  factory


    alongside the equally fiery passions

    of Rhythm and Blues.


    visions of automobile bodies of steel

    in the clanging workshops of auto factories by day

    used to give way

    to the sound

    of soul music

    by night.

    Body and soul.

    Machine and spirit.

    Detroit was the place where opposites clashed

    and were overcome.

    This is why techno was born in Detroit.


    which was born in Detroit,

    teaches us:

    The long-playing vinyl record

    is not something to be thrown away.

    It is a treasure the DJ can play to make sound.

    Shells of former factories

    are not structures to be torn down.

    They are spaces in which you can make music.

    They are spaces in which you can make music.