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"Mooz-lum" film screening, artist exhibit, and discussions with filmmaker and artist begin series “Islam in the American Imagination Ten Years After 9/11” (8/31-9/11/11).

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY -- Film and art showings followed by conversations with the artists will begin “Islam in the American Imagination Ten Years After 9/11: A Campus Community Dialogue," a series of events sponsored by the Africana Studies program that are free and open to the public.

The recent dramatic film Mooz-lum about the experiences of a Muslim-American college student after the 9/11 attacks will be shown on Wednesday, August 31, at 5:00pm, in the Spitzer Auditorium of Sanders Classroom Building (Room 212). Immediately after the screening the film’s writer-director Qasim “Q” Basir will hold a conversation with panelists from the Vassar faculty and student body, and take questions from the audience.

Also for the series “Islam in the American Imagination Ten Years After 9/11”, works by painter Khalilah Sabree will be shown in the Aula room of Ely Hall from Tuesday, August 31 through Sunday, September 11, with viewing hours each day from noon-2:00pm and 4:00-7:00pm. The artist will also discuss her work in “'Transcending the Veil of 9/11': A Conversation with Artist Khalilah Sabree, MFA," on Thursday, September 1 at 5:30pm in the Aula room of Ely Hall. Sabree explains, "This compilation of works is part of several series of paintings. September 11 affected all Americans in forms we have yet to discover. For me, its effect can best be communicated visually."

About Mooz-lum and filmmaker Qasim “Q” Basir

Hailed in 2010 by Los Angeles Times movie critic Kevin Thomas as “a potent feature debut for writer-director Qasim Basir, Mooz-lum depicts the life of a college freshman torn between his strict Islamic upbringing and the party culture prevalent at school, based on Basir’s own experience. The film, which stars Evan Ross, Nia Long, Danny Glover, Roger Guenveur Smith, Summer Bishil, and Dorian Missick, also explores the larger impact of 9/11 on the Muslim-American community.

“The reverberations of the 9/11 attacks are still being felt in our economy, our international policy, and most importantly in our imaginations,” said Kiese Laymon, an associate professor of English and member of the Africana Studies faculty. “9/11 forced us to imagine a new United States and it encouraged us to think about who we are and what we call American post-9/11. It also forced us into nuanced conversations about Islam in the 21st century. The film Mooz-lum seems like the perfect vehicle to initiate a year long conversation about where, what, and who we are ten years after 9/11.”

Qasim “Q” Basir was planning on a career in law until he flew through the window of a car during a traffic accident in 2002. While recovering from his injuries, he decided to pursue his first love, making movies. In 2004, he took his first project, 1Nation 2Worlds, to colleges and universities all over the U.S., challenging students and professors to open discussions on the important issue of race. His short film Glimpse which deals with ignorance about Muslims in America, won the 2007 One Nation Many Voices Filmmaker Award for best drama. In 2008 Basir created The Inspiration of Barack: Yes We Can, a series of seven short films about different people who became inspired by presidential candidate Barack Obama. As with 1Nation 2Worlds, Qasim took the series to theaters around the country, urging attendees to get involved with the Obama campaign. His work on this series earned Qasim the Inspirational Filmmaker of the Year Award from the Memphis Black Writers Film Festival.

Co-sponsors for these events include the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, the Political Science department, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Drama and Film department, the programs in Media Studies, Urban Studies, and Women's Studies, the offices of Residential Life and Campus Life, the Religion department, the Vassar Islamic Society, and the Forum for Race and Popular Culture.

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations or information on accessibility should contact the Campus Activities Office at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the campus can be found at http://www.vassar.edu/directions.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Wednesday, August 24, 2011