VOICE The Georgetown
February 17, 2017
Life on the Hilltop for Chaplains and Their Families p. 8 Reactions to the Immigration Executive Order p. 10
FEBRUARY 17, 2017
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
staff editor-in-chief Graham Piro Managing editor Caitlyn Cobb
Volume 49 • Issue 11
executive editor Ryan miller Features editor Alex bOyd assistant features editor jonny amon news editor isaiah seibert assistant news editors Jake maher, margaret gach
executive editor Brian Mcmahon Leisure editor caitlin mannering assistant leisure editors Gustav Honl-stuenkel, Devon O’Dwyer, ryan mazaltis Sports editor tyler pearre Assistant sports editor alex lewontin
Photo courtesy of Rev. katie francis
Carrying On: Untangling the Art From the Artist Caitlin Mannering
Dividing Lines: Reflections on the Inherent Violence of Borders Kenneth Lee Counter-Protesting the March for Life Emily Stephens
It Takes a Village (A) Jonny Amon
Students and Professors React to Immigration Executive Order Rebecca Zaritsky
BMDT Celebrates 35 Years of Dance, Defiance, Diversity Ryan Miller
Spirit and Soul in “The Café Life” Brynn Furey
The Voice Predicts the Oscars Leisure Staff
Executive editor kevin huggard voices editor emma Francois Assistant Voices editors kaei lI, rebecca zaritsky Editorial Board Chair chris dunn Editorial Board jon block, caitlyn cobb, kenneth lee, kevin Huggard, GRAHAM PIRO, Isaiah seibert, PHillip Steuber, ryan miller
Leisure editor amy guay assistant leisure editors brynn furey, emily jaster, anne paglia Sports editor Jorge DeNeve Assistant sports editor parker houston
Executive editor alli kaufman Spread editor lindsay reilly Photo Editor Isabel lord assistant design editors jake glass, lizz pankova, jack townsend Staff Designers Rachel Corbally, Alexandra Falkner, Sam Lee, Cecilia li, Sarah martin, Aicha nzie, max thomas, rachel zeide
copy chief Anna Gloor assistant Copy editors audrey bischoff, julia pinney editors Sienna Brancato, Jack Cashmere, Clara Cecil, Claire Goldberg, Isabel Lord, Isabel Paret, Greer Richey, Jack Townsend
online editor Anne Freeman podcast editor danielle hewitt assistant podcast editor nick gavio social media editor Claire Goldberg
associate editors Mike Bergin, Jon block, lilah burke, michael coyne, cassidy jensen The opinions expressed in The Georgetown Voice do not necessarily represent the views of the administration, faculty or students of Georgetown University, unless specifically stated. Columns, advertisements, cartoons and opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editorial Board or the General Board of The Georgetown Voice. The university subscribes to the principle of responsible freedom of expression of its student editors. All materials copyright The Georgeton Voice, unless otherwise indicated.
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MOnica Cho, Brynne Long, madelyn rice, Brice russo, Dan Sheehan, Noah Telerski
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
Listen ON GEORGETOWNVOICE.COM POdcasts Stripped: Faux Feminism & The Ivanka Fallacy In this episode of Stripped, listen to hosts Isabel Lord, Emma Francois, and guest star Claire Goldberg grapple with the ethics of wearing Ivanka Trumpâ€™s clothing line, address the problematic ways her brand is influencing feminism, and try to find a new understanding of the American lifestyle.
The Phone Booth: NCAA Tournament or Bust Host Tyler Pearre is joined by Nick Gavio, Jorge DeNeve, and special guest Bobby Bancroft of the Associated Press and Casual Hoya to discuss the rest of the menâ€™s basketball schedule and how the team can make the coveted NCAA Tournament.
FEBRUARY 17, 2017
Congress Must Stop Obstruction
GSC Sanctions Miss the Mark
On Feb. 13, Washington, D.C. citizens and lawmakers held a rally and meeting a block away from the Capitol Building as a part of the burgeoning #HandsOffDC movement. The movement was in reaction to a vote that took place in the House Committee on Oversight and Government Refor m, in which the committee voted to block D.C.’s Death With Dignity Act, a bill that would legalize euthanasia in the District. The bill passed the D.C. City Council, and was approved by Mayor Muriel Bowser. Due to D.C. “home r ule” laws, before a bill can become a law in the District, it must pass a 30 day period in Congress, when it can be blocked by representatives. With a Republican-controlled Congress and a Democratic city council and mayor, D.C. faces the prospect of having many more of its laws blocked. This Editorial Board believes that Congress should have little to do with the passing of Washington, D.C. laws, and should not obstr uct them in the future. There are almost 500,000 registered voters in the District, none of whom has any say over a single member of Congress. It is unfair that bills passed by democratically-elected representatives in the city should be overturned by representatives who were not elected by D.C. residents. Surely any member of the House would balk at the idea of the D.C. City Council having a say over laws from his or her home state. Why, then, does the reverse seem reasonable to the 22 members of the committee who voted to block the bill? With a population of 680,000, Washington, D.C. is larg er than both Wyoming and Ver mont, each of which is given two Senators and a member of the House of Re presentatives. D.C. is only given one deleg ate to Cong ress, who cannot vote. T his creates a scenario in which D.C. residents cannot vote on the leaders who have the final say over their laws. In light of this imbalance, we call on members of the House Oversight Committee to allow the swift passag e of District laws. By blocking the passag e of bills approved by city council and the mayor, Cong ress is obstr ucting the democratic process and over riding the political will of all of the District’s citizens.T he impor tance of this matter is larg er than any one issue or law. It is about the right of almost 700,000 U.S. citizens to have their voices heard in g over nment.
On Dec. 8, 2016, members of Georgetown Solidarity Committee (GSC) participated in a sit-in to protest Georgetown’s licensing contract with Nike. Eight of these students have since been found in violation of the Code of Student Conduct for unauthorized access and failure to comply with a university office or law enforcement officer. On Feb. 2, 2017 they received Notices of Administrative Action in response to their violations, stating that the students must pay a $50 fine, serve five work sanction hours, and write a letter of apology to Joe Ferrara, Georgetown University President John DeGioia’s Chief of Staff. The students will also be placed on Disciplinary Probation I until Aug. 11, 2017, which threatens suspension for any new Student Conduct violations. These sanctions exceed the minimum level of punishment recommended by the Code of Student Conduct. In addition, the students, the Student Activities Commission (SAC) voted on Feb. 6, 2017 to sanction GSC as a club. The sanction removes GSC leadership’s control over its budget and puts the club into a restoration process. This editorial board recognizes that the sit-in was a GSC action, making it fair that the organization as a whole faces some sort of punishment. However, we believe that the personal sanctions faced by these eight individuals are unfair and excessive. The university’s focus on sanctioning its students, in a manner more severe than is recommended, fails to consider the intent of these students. While they were in violation of the Code of Student Conduct, the actions were neither malicious nor harmful to students or staff. They were charged with two violations: unauthorized access and failure to comply with an official. Given their intent to peacefully protest against the harsh conditions faced by Nike workers, they should not be treated the same as any other violation of the Code of Conduct for unauthorized access and failure to comply with an official. The GSC members were acting as men and women for others in their protest, and should not face such a severe discipline for doing so. We believe that activism should play an important role in the lives of students on campus, and we fear that these disciplinary actions will discourage future on-campus activism. The university must treat their disciplinary violations with nuance, and realize that the actions those students took were more than simple trespassing or refusal to follow orders. The university prides itself on a set of values that includes creating men and women for others and care for the whole person. If Georgetown wants these values to be more than just words on a banner, then it must allow students to push the university, and themselves, to become better.
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
I have always been in love with movies. Beautiful, gritty, or suspenseful, it doesn’t matter. When done right, a film has the power to place me in a different world, a world more dazzling, more terrifying, or more outlandish than the one in which I reside. A soaring piece of music, a particularly cutting dialogue scene, or even just a simple gesture has the ability to evoke emotion within the viewer. Movies entangle us in someone else’s reality, making us emotionally invested in a wide array of spellbinding stories. As we continue through awards season, a number of films have risen to the forefront. Specifically, Casey Affleck has received widespread acclaim for his performance in Manchester by the Sea (2016). In the film, Affleck appears to be just another layer of the desolate, even mundane, wintry New England landscape. Through his performance, he turns grief, something so often over-dramatized in film—think big sob scenes, rain, a sensational score—into a more muted, nuanced experience while still eliciting a viscerally painful reaction from the audience. His character’s bereavement over the recent death of his older brother momentarily blinds us to his guilt regarding a far greater misery, but Affleck again manages to give us a performance without all the frills and added theatricality often utilized in tragedies. He expresses loss as a constant ache, one people falsely tell you will dull over time. It is a refined, subtle performance that exhibits the appalling pain of reliving, remembering, and experiencing guilt, and how that pain never truly goes away, giving his character a haunted, defeated gaze throughout the film. After watching Manchester by the Sea, I thought Affleck deserved the Academy Award for Best Actor. This made it difficult to learn of the sexual harassment charges filed against him in 2010, which came to light as a result of the growing success of his performance. I struggled with how I could enjoy Affleck as an actor when he allegedly manhandled and verbally abused two women on the set of I’m Still Here (2010), a movie he directed. Can I separate the art from the artist? It’s not a novel question by any means, but one I feel very much pertains to the 2017 Academy Awards. Of course, Affleck is not the only offender in this year’s awards season. Mel Gibson—infamous for his anti-Semitic tirade and domestic abuse charges—is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director. Nate Parker, writer, director, and star of The Birth of a Nation (2016), was well on the road to the Oscars after receiving The Grand Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival last year. However, with
his meteoric success came the ugly reveal of how both Parker and his co-writer for the film, Jean Celestin, were accused of raping a student in 1999. Although Parker was acquitted, Celestin was not, and the case is made even more horrific with the knowledge that the victim committed suicide in 2012. After the grim case came into the public spotlight, the award show committees snubbed The Birth of a Nation. The Academy understandably wants to distance itself from scandal, but then the work of hundreds—writers, cameramen, editors, costume designers—doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The talent and Max thomas dedication of many go unrecognized due to the acts of one person. In an age when the lives of celebrities and those in prominent positions can be swiftly and closely scrutinized through social media, there’s a greater strain on how we view the relationship between art and artist. With this awareness of the far-reaching media, stars have a greater responsibility to uphold their end of the bargain, to realize that being in the public eye carries the responsibility to act respectably. While it in no way lessens the gravity of artists’ wrongdoings, it is crucial not to overlook the importance of the media—because of its scope and rapidity—in cultivating a more black-and-white perception of celebrities’ misdeeds. We must be able to still enjoy these films for their brilliance and creativity without condoning the behavior of those such as Affleck, Gibson, and Parker. We must stay aware. The Academy should not snub an important film after one actor’s offenses, but when they do recognize a film attached to scandal, they should highlight the issue at hand, promoting a culture that does not tolerate these behaviors. Hollywood should be instigating and nurturing more conversations about its creatives’ off-screen behavior. Awards seasons give us an opportunity to bring crucial, detrimental issues to the forefront of the public’s awareness through acceptance speeches, publicity interviews, and monologues. Shedding light on issues and sharing untold stories is, after all, a film’s purpose. They make us squirm in our privilege, forcing us to be made aware of tragedies we can only be glad we are watching and not living. Films illustrate the best and worst of humanity: the art form of talented individuals itching to tell stories, perhaps in an effort to escape their own realities. By Caitlin Mannering She is a sophomore in the College.
Untangling the Art From the Artist
Carrying On: Voice Staffers Speak
FEBRUARY 17, 2017
Dividing Lines Reflections on the Inherent Violence of Borders A powerful scene (and there are many) in Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men goes something like this. In 2027, a xenophobic and nationalist Britain regularly raids entire housing complexes in London, rounding up asylum seekers in cages. The police spot a car belonging to a resistance group. They see a dead woman sitting shotgun, blood spilling from her throat. “Get your passports out!” someone screams, breaking the bloating air of dread. Pistols drawn and ready to murder, two policemen demand the driver take his hands off the wheel. Inside the car, the passengers, electrified by their impending deaths, wave dark, tiny, rectangular papers desperately in the faces of the police. “We are British citizens! British citizens! British citizens!” The proclamation is simple, but terrifying. What do we talk about when we talk about each other? Perhaps personalities, occupations, hopes, dreams, or fears. But what about citizenship? Is it ever fair to distill the unending richness of a human biography into the little navy (or crimson, or burgundy, or olive) book we either obtain from the state through the lottery of birth, or earn through navigating a complex and fluid mass of immigration and citizenship laws? A statement in my own passport harkens back to the medieval origins of this elusive document: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China requests all civil and military authorities of foreign countries to allow the bearer of this passport to pass freely and afford assistance in case of need.” At some point in human history, the passport mutated from a mere travel document to the marker of one’s place in the global capitalist system—or, as in Children of Men, a reason why you should not be arbitrarily murdered by the police state. A simple Google search already shows that there is a cornucopia of lifestyle websites, consulting firms, and even private membership clubs amongst Georgetown students that fetishize this idea of frictionless movement. With a wave of their little blue biometric books, and a swipe of their executive platinum credit cards, they get to appropriate the term “global nomad”—as if living precariously, which many refugees, stateless people, and undocumented families in this country do, is a privilege. Passports condition us to accept borders in our society. If you ever enter the United States at an international airport, you will notice the Department of Homeland Security doesn’t actually operate any actual barriers to regulate the flow of people into the country. Instead, we patiently stand in line, sometimes for hours, until the next available immigration officer calls us forward. In that stuffy, sterile space, we subject ourselves to the mercy of that officer, who, until we finish performing the delicate rituals of border-crossing, is free to keep us in an inhuman limbo. Why are you entering the United States? Where do you study? Why are you studying international relations? Are you sure that you have the sufficient finances to complete your degree? Why can’t you speak English? To those who fail at fulfilling those rituals to a satisfactory degree, borders provide an open license to strip all remaining humanity against those we fear and hate. Therefore, undocumented students are “illegal,” immigrant workers are “welfare parasites,” and Syrian refugees are “terrorists”—words that demand the state to raid schools, break up families, and derail careers all in the elusive name of national security. The Muslim ban and undocumented immigrant raids Trump and his white nationalist cronies concocted a few weeks ago precisely exemplify this. With a stroke of a pen, he empowered the state to force permanent residents to give up their green cards, handcuff children, search through the phones of NASA scientists, deport visiting grandmothers, and break up families in “target-rich communities,” in the words of an anonymous immigration officer quoted in The Washington Post. Do they think striking fear in schoolchildren is some sort of game? Although politicians sympathetic to the idea of comprehensive immigration reform almost inevitably characterize the United States as “a nation of immigrants,” throughout
history, this country has engaged in some of the most vile practices afforded to a state by national borders. While Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty welcomed European immigrants in New York, Angel Island interrogated and detained thousands of Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Filipino immigrants in San Francisco. And of course, in its early days, this country trafficked hundreds of thousands of human slaves from the African continent. And yet, the destruction, hatred, and violence found at our borders have not deterred anyone from crossing them, because borders have also been an inherent source of hope. If Trump, and any of his supporters, are struggling to find a reason for why the United States is so “great,” they need not look any further than one of the hundreds of consulates around the world: the millions of people who brave the sweltering, hours-long lines to apply, as Sean Spicer correctly observes, for the “privilege” to enter the United States. These immigrants are the greatest endorsement any single country in the world could receive: an affirmation that the United States remains a land of opportunity. From the privileges of my personal life, I cannot possibly claim to relate to the refugee, stateless, or undocumented students of my school, or anyone whose lives hang in the balance because of Trump’s Muslim ban or undocumented immigrant raids. But in our brave new world of resurgent nationalism, I simply and humbly hope that my passport does not determine the question of my own life and death.
By Kenneth Lee He is a senior in the SFS.
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
I’m bad at activism. I acknowledge it. I read articles but don’t share them. I hear about, for example, Donald Trump’s executive order on the Dakota Access Pipeline and skim friends’ “Organize—tonight!” posts, and I scroll past, ashamed, thinking of my bag of potatoes and head of broccoli and frying pan waiting for me to assemble a solitary dinner. I participate sporadically, and, I’m sorry to say, almost exclusively, in protests related to sexual health, though I understand intersectional reproductive justice work entails fighting for a dizzying array of causes and my demonstrated support for them is inadequate. That being said, for the past three years I’ve attended the annual March for Life counterprotest outside the Supreme Court with H*yas for Choice (HFC) and the Feminist Majority Foundation. The March for Life attracts several thousand anti-abortion demonstrators to Washington, D.C. each year, but a few hundred protesters always gather outside the Supreme Court to register dissent at the anti-choice values the March for Life promotes. Unlike my experience with maintaining the operations of HFC on Georgetown’s campus– which is met with overwhelming student support—at this protest I am in the minority, confined between the police barriers at the steps of the Court and the police barriers at the road. Some passing participants in the March sprinkled us with holy water, praying noisily in our direction. Others held up tiny dolls, intended to represent fetuses, and proffered them to us as they passed. Anti-choice demonstrators pressed in behind us, trying desperately to slip their signs in front of ours as both national press and small-scale blog operators tried to capture moments of conflict. To some protesters, this is not a mundane, Friday morning event but rather an annual moment when the pre-1973 memories of older activists are called into sharp relief. I remember vividly watching at the 2015 March for Life as an older woman in a red-streaked white jumpsuit was carried away by several police, screaming desperately, “When abortions are illegal, women die.” Truthfully, the experience seems absurd at times. The carefully choreographed posturing for media outlets performed by participants on both sides feels inauthentic, petty, and repetitive. Each rally shapes up similarly: pro- and anti-choice counter-protesters line up back to back and have their own chants. Both groups shoot disgusted looks and mumble comments to their compatriots when the other’s chanting becomes particularly raucous. “Pro-life, that’s a lie, you don’t care if women die” always generates raised eyebrows and a few unintelligible angry comments yelled back across the divide. Reporters vie to position themselves squarely in the middle and lead off their stories with intros like, “I’m standing here at the Supreme Court in the middle of two protests with very different ideas, and as you can see, they’re attempting to make sure their voices are heard today…” A protest has an electric, exciting atmosphere. Even if at first you feel awkward holding your sign above your head, or you have to strain to listen to the new chant being introduced to replicate it, soon enough the vibrant energy pulsating through the air courses through you and you yell as loudly as everybody else. And yet, it can feel as if as soon as the words leave your mouth, they disappear, swallowed by the roar of the crowd. Really, what is the point? The marble pillars of the Supreme Court and the marble exterior of the Capitol building across the street create a giant echo chamber: It’s quite unlikely a single person will change their minds. Many already agree with you; the rest—well, anybody who carries around one of those graphic and doctored images of fetuses isn’t likely to be persuaded by a sign reading “Keep Your Rosaries off My Ovaries.” Of course, the purpose of the rally lies not in who can hear you in the moment, but in who will hear you (and hear about you) in the days that follow. There’s a reason why the empty eye of the camera lens pointing in your direction sends everyone scrambling to make sure a polished, clever, and, most importantly, pro-choice sign is front and center. Images matter. Media matters. As Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America (previously the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws), said, “We are the majority … we know this and our opponents know this.” The man who likened abortion to the Holocaust and told me that I’m going to hell might choose to ignore objective realities, but the people reading coverage of the event from Twitter and seeing news clips the following day will likely prove more open to educating themselves. If seeing a catchy sign as the headlining photo of an article on our rally makes them click on it, read about the issue, and learn, then that’s a desirable outcome. On the other hand, I often worry about normalization. The images coming out of this march and counter-protest, and others like it, reinforce the idea that there are two equivalent sides: two groups, spatially separated, each with megaphones and speakers and balloons, each giving interviews to press and finding their pictures and words in the papers and online. In
other words, by appearing with anti-choice demonstrators, we legitimize their campaign of social and sexual control over people who need access to reproductive services. And yet, it is too important to have a presence at these rallies to skip them because of this concern. We can work against normalization in other ways, on campus and in the other events in which we participate. This is why, for example, I follow the lead of other reproductive justice advocates and tend to refer to abortion opponents as “anti-choice” rather than “prolife.” But the danger that exists when a reporter shows up to cover a rally and finds only anti-abortion, anti-birth control, and anti-choice vitriol awaiting them—and then writes about that in a nationally syndicated column or in an article shared by thousands on Facebook— outweighs the concern of associating with and standing by opponents of reproductive justice.
We all practice activism in other ways as well. On campus, HFC holds events and discussions, and we pass out condoms and crucial information on sexual health. As individuals or through the mechanism of an organization like HFC, we can volunteer to clinic escort or donate to local abortion funds. We can support the existence of online pharmacies that send prescription birth control or abortion pills to women in rural areas, and we can vote to ensure right-wing extremists are not elected to state legislatures or the U.S. Congress. We need to do all of this and more, but we also need to attend rallies, even if the experiences are similar and the opposition gets under our skin because these rallies are all similarly critical to attend. And to those people who, like me, mark themselves as “interested” on Facebook events but, rather than going, daydream about their dinners or watch another Netflix episode, or get started on that paper with the looming deadline: go. Drag your friends along. And then, next week, go again.
By Emily Stephens She is a senior in the SFS.
Counter-Protesting the March for Life
FEBRUARY 17, 2017
It Takes a Village (A) Life on the Hilltop for Chaplains and their Families
By Jonny Amon
If you live in Village A, you might occasionally see something out of place. On days when the weather is warm and the sun shines, two small girls, dressed as carefree princesses, might be found dancing around on a rooftop, oblivious to the stresses and problems that absorb the students who surround them. The two girls will call from their rooftop terrace to students below, looking to find fellow Sesame Street fans and to make new friends. The presence of children in a space usually reserved for springtime keg races may seem odd, but it is a part of one of the most unique and integral aspects of Georgetown life: having chaplains-in-residence. When students first move into their dorms the last week of August, they don’t expect to find a small family of four as their new next door neighbours. Families, they might think, will impede their self-expression, forcing them to turn down the music or avoid cursing. However, for the chaplains-in-residence (CIRs) the goal is to avoid such confrontation and allow as much freedom as possible, only stepping in to help when asked. These chaplains are trained pastoral ministers who live among students on Georgetown’s campus. They come from different denominations and represent various faiths. While 14 of the 25 chaplains are Roman Catholic, Protestant denominations, such as American Baptist and Presbyterian are well represented, as well as Islam, Episcopalian, and Hindu faiths. Brahmachari Vrajvihari Sharan, the Hindu chaplain, arrived last year and is the first Hindu chaplain at any school in the United States. Despite their religious backgrounds, chaplains stress that they are available for anyone who needs to talk. By having many different faiths represented amongst the CIRs, campus ministry hopes to give every student the opportunity to speak with someone who worships the same way. Diversity among chaplains allows for more students to find someone with whom they feel comfortable. Chaplains see themselves as beacons, where people can find themselves when they are lost. “For the most part, how we see our role, is that we get to support the students. And we get to help them to see that we think they’re valuable, that we really exist to cheer them on,” said Joel Daniels, a Protestant CIR who lives in Henle. “So we’re not there to critique. We’re there when they get critiqued to be able to come to us and to talk about what that means,
how that makes them feel.” In a place where students often feel isolated from their friends and family, it can be difficult to find someone to communicate with on a deeper level. Whatever students are struggling with–relationships, job opportunities, or family issues– chaplains pride themselves in pointing students in the right direction. “I always say our real purpose is to be there when students enter modes of depth, depth of thinking about themselves, their identity, depth of thinking about their faith and what they most believe, thinking about their values—their own sense of right and wrong,” said Father Matthew Carnes, S.J., a Kennedy CIR and associate professor, also known for his class on comparative political systems. “And we can walk with them through those conversations as they think them through.” Campus ministry asks that CIRs have regular opportunities to meet with the students. CIRs offer programs such as open doors that usually occur at the same time every week, where chaplains offer desserts, quesadillas, or other treats. In addition to setting weekly hours, chaplains offer special programming throughout the year. During Heritage Week earlier this semester, Carnes held a fireside chat, where students spoke with him about Jesuit heritage and identity. Once every fall semester, Carnes guides a secret Jesuit tour of campus. “I think it’s one of the really special things about Jesuit schools is that you have Jesuits living that close to students, where they can really have this informal interaction that then leads to deeper and richer interactions,” said Carnes. CIR applications are similar to Georgetown applications for ordinary students. Chaplains are generally expected to finish four years of residence before they apply for each individual year thereafter. The application process includes professional letters of recommendation, an interview with Georgetown officials, and an essay about why they feel they would be a good fit for the Georgetown Chaplain-in-Residence program. “The Georgetown value of the whole person [cura personalis] goes into this too,” Daniels said. “I appreciated that aspect of caring for me as an applicant, not as though it’s some detached application.” Chaplains fill a wide range of identities and demographics. Some chaplains are professors at Georgetown, some are graduate or Ph.D. students themselves. Some are nearing the
end of their time at Georgetown, some are experiencing the Hilltop for the first time. Some live alone, some have young families adapting to life on a college campus. For chaplains with families, such as Rev. Katie Francis, who is a Presbyterian chaplain in Village A, Georgetown presents a unique home and play area for young children. “They do think they live in a castle. They’re all girls, so they think this is a real castle. And that we live and work in a kingdom. [Copley] Lawn is their front lawn,” said Francis. For some CIRs, their interest in education matched well with their passion for ministry.
“I always say our real purpose is to be there when students enter modes of depth, depth of thinking about themselves, their identity, depth of thinking about their faith and what they most believe, thinking about their values—their own sense of right and wrong.” “When I was in high school, I thought about becoming a pastor, but for whatever reason, never became one. I trained to be one, I got my Master’s of Divinity, but I also ended up teaching in different schools and decided I really loved academic life and wanted to be a full-time professor,” said Easten Law, a Church of the Savior chaplain, and the other Village A CIR.
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
(Top to bottom) Joel Daniels and his family in their Henle apartment and Rev. Katie Francis and her family in their Village A apartment. Francis, in a story similar to many other chaplains-in-residence, happened to stumble across her job. An opportunity to serve as a chaplain-in-residence coincided with her desire to raise a family. A normal ministry job is hectic, and requires many late nights and weekends to help with various crises. In her apartment in Village A, however, she has found the opportunity to help students while taking care of her three daughters, the youngest of whom recently finished her first trip around the sun.
“They’re all girls, so they think this is a real castle. And that we live and work in a kingdom. [Copley] Lawn is their front lawn.” “I remember reading the description over and over again and thinking, ‘this can’t be real,’” said Francis. “Ten hours a week in exchange for rent in Georgetown, living with students, hosting open houses. It just sounded so fun.” For the most part, young students and chaplains’ families get along without any problems. Students seek help
Top Photos: Jonny Amon Bottom photos: Courtesy Rev. Katie Francis
when they feel they need it, and chaplains are ready to listenwhenever an issue arises. One would expect this to change on the weekends, though, when tension might arise between the chaplain’s families and students who are looking to blow off the week’s stress. Chaplains, however, say that parties are rarely a burden on their relationship with students. “The partying usually gets started after the kids are asleep, and they’re pretty heavy sleepers, so it hasn’t really impacted us at all. We’ve been thankful for that,” Law said. CIRs recognize that partying on campus is part of life when choosing to live on campus. “When people are doing more of that socializing or heading out, I’m usually back in my own space. It’s not like I’m wandering the halls when they’re going to parties,” Carnes explained. “I think that gives them the space to be who they are at the age they are. It gives me the space to be who I am at the age I am. And each of us to be happy in the building.” “We don’t police the neighborhood. Similar to if we lived in Georgetown and somebody was too loud. We have amazing students, and for the most part there’s never been a problem,” Daniels said. “And even if they are louder, it’s a college experience, that’s an expression of what it means to be in college and we acknowledge that and are grateful that they have that the space to do that.” In some cases, it has even made the bond between chaplain and student stronger. “I’ve even had a couple students come to my apartment, and they’re like, ‘We’re gonna host parties, here’s our number,
put it in your phone. If your kids wake up, if it’s too loud, text us.’ It’s amazing,” said Francis. On Halloween weekend, one party had gone back-to-back nights with a DJ. On the second night, Francis texted the students, asking if they could lower the music as Francis’ mother was in town. “In like fifteen minutes they turned the music off. I felt bad, I was like, ‘You didn’t have to turn it off, you can turn it down.’ It was just so cool, just the respect people have for our family here,” said Francis. “That really meant a lot to me, and we’ve been kind of close to that apartment, and they’ve stopped by for breakfast Saturday morning. So, it hasn’t been bad, it’s been really good.” Francis fosters a particularly strong connection with her students. Ozette, her youngest daughter, was born during last year’s snowstorm. Her residents, worried that she may have trouble getting to the hospital, texted her asking for updates. At one point, Francis and her husband were having difficulty getting their van out of their parking spot. Students walking past saw Francis in labor, and promptly called a GERMS ambulance. “It was fabulous, we had so much support … the students came by and brought presents and meals and it was really cool,” Francis said. The type of interactions that chaplains will have with their residents can rely heavily on where the chaplain is placed. The different housing options on campus can lead to far different experiences. The problems that freshman students face, are often different than those of upperclassmen, who have already adapted to living away from home. “That freshman year is really that moment that a lot of people are trying to build relationships, so I know a lot of the CIRs and JIRs [Jesuits-in-Residence] in freshman dorms, tend to function as a centering place for relationship building,” Daniels said. “Most likely students don’t know each other at that point. Everything is new.” Freshman students tend to have similar problems every year. While homesickness exists at every school, the atmosphere at Georgetown often promotes an increased sense of pressure and competition, leading students to question their ability and their place on campus. “There’s a lot of people who have done super well academically in their high school, they barely even compete. Then they get here, and they’re like, ‘Oh, there are other people just as smart as me,’” Francis explained. “So then academic wise, and if they’re trying to get into clubs, starting to party, if their grades [drop] ... they get really upset.” While younger students often struggle with making new relationships, upperclassmen tend to have more difficulty dealing with their current ones. Living with people in a close, confined space can strain any close friendship. “People have friend relationships, they’re living with roommates, and in Henle now they’re really in this intimate setting,” Daniels said. “You have your kitchen there, you have your bedroom, sometimes they’re connected, they’re not the biggest rooms, and so when people have some questions and thoughts and maybe even struggles we get to support that, as opposed to intervening in a correcting way.” CIRs may sometimes seem out of place and imposing. In reality, the purpose of the position is just the opposite. Chaplains care for their communities. When students get pushed off their path, chaplains are the ones who show them how to get back on track. They make meals, they talk through problems, they make students feel at home. They exist to communicate, to guide, and to remind students of something that sometimes gets lost at Georgetown: Everything is going to be okay.
FEBRUARY 17, 2017
Students and Professors React to Immigration Executive Order By Rebecca Zaritsky Meghan Bodette (SFS ’20) had been up all night. For the last three days, she had attended protests marching, chanting, and showing no signs of slowing down. Bodette, along with many other Georgetown students, walked to the Supreme Court despite the 30-degree weather one late evening in January. They were going to be heard.
“I know a few [colleagues] who are now having to decide between staying here and going to visit family and potentially not being able to come back into the United States,” said Bodette.“I don’t think that is a decision that anyone should have to make.” President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order stopped travel from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya. Under the terms of the ban, citizens
of these countries cannot enter the United States for 90 days, with few exceptions. The mandate also halted all refugee acceptance for 120 days and indefinitely banned refugees from Syria. The executive order stated that the U.S. would give preferential immigration treatment to Christian refugees. The order was a worrying development for many in the Georgetown community, like Sonali Dhawan (COL ’18) who spent a semester studying abroad in Jordan. “I feel that it is a death warrant for refugees all across the world and specifically these countries,” said Dhawan. “When I was in Jordan last fall, I worked with and did research on Syrian-Palestinian refugees and saw firsthand the trauma of displacement.” According to university spokesperson Rachel Pugh, the ban directly affects several students at Georgetown. In an email to the Voice, Pugh wrote that the university identified 20 students across its main, law, and medical campuses who would not be allowed to re-enter the United States if they traveled outside the country under the terms of the ban if it were to be reinstated. She added that none of these 20 students were currently abroad. Pugh also commented that Georgetown was communicating with students directly affected by the executive order. “As recently as last Friday, senior Georgetown leaders met with undocumented students and members of Georgetown’s Muslim community,” Pugh wrote. She said the university is closely monitoring any new developments. Other students and faculty also know individuals affected by the ban. Bodette works at a non-profit that works with refugees in Kurdistan, and many of her colleagues have been directly impacted. “I know a few [colleagues] who are now having to decide between staying here and going to visit family and potentially not being able to come back into the United States,”
said Bodette.“I don’t think that is a decision that anyone should have to make.” History professor Ananya Chakravarti said the ban was especially jarring given her own immigration status. Originally from India, she recently received her green card, and many of her friends are green card holders from the affected countries originally targeted by the ban. “A friend of mine is a Syrian refugee who is a green card holder, and his brother is currently abroad and very likely is going to have serious trouble coming back into this country,” said Chakravarti. “So it just felt personal.”
“I think the important thing is not to sit back and believe that this is somehow normal,” said Chakravarti. “The danger is if we normalize this.” Chakravarti also expressed concerns from an academic standpoint, particularly in the field of history. Because Iran has reciprocated with a ban on U.S. passport holders, Chakravarti worried that historians would not be able to access archives that they needed for their research. She also discussed calls within the international community to boycott academic conferences
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
in the United States, which she worried would disrupt the exchange of ideas and isolate U.S. academics. Those disturbed by the executive order channeled their discontent through protests around Washington, D.C. over the last few weeks, and many Georgetown students participated. At airports, monuments, and government buildings, protesters held signs and chanted “No ban, no wall” and “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here.” Angela Maske (NHS ’19) attended the largest of these protests, a gathering outside the White House on Jan. 29, and noted the importance of participation in these demonstrations. “It’s especially meaningful to put your body in a space where you are representing resistance,” Maske said. Dhawan also praised the disturbance many of the protests were causing with marches blocking off streets and impeding traffic, and she called President Trump’s actions so dangerous that disruption is necessary to have the protesters’ message heard. Bodette expressed a similar feeling, saying that as a white, Christian woman, she was in a position to help others and felt compelled to take advantage of it. “I need to use [my] privilege to speak up for people who are less safe, who are less secure, and who this administration is targeting,” Bodette said. Despite the protesters’ deep concerns, both Maske and Chakravarti discussed the sense of community they felt at the protests, describing people having conversations with strangers, helping each other up onto walls, and exchanging words of encouragement. Chakravarti attended the White House protest with Georgetown’s history department faculty members, and said the experience was heartening. “We are at an institution where many of us recognize the dangers of what is happening and many of us are willing to counter them,” Chakravarti said. Dhawan said that she protested for a variety of reasons including the opportunity to see the strength of the opposition to Trump’s policies and the ability to surround herself with people
who hold stances similar to her own. She added another benefit of protesting: the ability to call the attention of the public, as well as legislators, to these issues. In addition to the public protests throughout D.C., university students also held a candlelit vigil called “Hoyas for Justice” in Red Square on Feb. 1. Students gathered to pray and listen to speeches about the effects of the executive order. Georgetown also responded to the ban on an administrative level. On Jan. 29, Georgetown University President John DeGioia sent an email to the student body recommitting the university to championing the international students. “Our international character is integral to our identity as a University, to the free exchange of ideas, and to our ability to support all of our students, staff, and faculty in contributing to our global community,” DeGioia wrote. In his email, DeGioia also described how Georgetown’s Jesuit values press the university to embrace its Muslim population, which Chakravarti said she is grateful for. “I feel extremely lucky to work in an institution that espouses Jesuit values of inclusion and of compassion and President DeGioia has come out very strongly from the moment after the election to reaffirm Georgetown’s commitment to these values,” she said. Other groups on campus, such as GUSA and the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS), have released their own statements affirming their support of students affected by the ban, with CCAS condemning the ban as well. However, some students have said these actions are insufficient and hope the university will take additional steps to protect non-citizen students, faculty, and staff. Several universities, such as Princeton, Dartmouth, and Rice, have explicitly opposed the ban, and Dhawan said Georgetown should take further actions to protect its students. She cited Columbia and the University of Michigan as universities that have taken steps toward declaring themselves sanctuary campuses—schools which do not release the immigration status or other personal information
of their students—and said she hoped Georgetown would follow suit. In addition to their statement, CCAS held an emergency town hall on Feb. 2 to respond to the ban further. Various attorneys, advocates, and lobbyists connected to Arab-American relations discussed the implication of the ban as well as the steps people affected could take in order to keep themselves safe, such as avoiding unnecessary international travel, using state-issued identification, such as a driver’s license, rather than foreign passports when traveling within the United States, and not disclosing information to immigration officials or signing forms without consulting an attorney. Chakravarti mentioned initiatives that she was discussing with colleagues in the history department, such as taking advantage of being in close proximity to the American Historical Association to set up a meeting to discuss alternate, more accessible locations for their national conference. Faculty members were also considering keeping positions open for students and staff who might be accepted but would be unable to come to the United States to study or work because of the ban. For example, if an individual was hired to begin education or employment at a certain date, that date could be delayed indefinitely if they were having problems immigrating. Activists like Dhawan stressed the necessity of taking action outside of attending protests, noting the importance of a steady resistance through petitioning, calling members of Congress, and supporting organizations involved in fighting discriminatory policies. “It has to be a continuous effort,” she said. Chakravarti echoed Dhawan’s statement, calling on her experience as a historian to warn against complacency. “I think the important thing is not to sit back and believe that this is somehow normal,” said Chakravarti. “The danger is if we normalize this.”
D.C. protests in the weeks following the immigration ban.
FEBRUARY 17, 2017
BMDT Celebrates 35 Years of Dance, Defiance, and Diversity Bodies tumble to the ground. Dancers fall, then carry each other around the studio. Pained, passionate faces match the sharp movements as Erykah Badu’s voice repeats the words, “This bitter land” from her song of the same name. For Black Movements Dance Theatre (BMDT), it’s all about the message behind the dance.
By Ryan Miller
majority-black group, many dancers see the diversity in the In order to get dancers to think about the characters they company as one of its strongest assets to spread broader messages portray on stage, Davis also had her students submit written about racial justice. responses to questions about how they specifically connect to “Everyone is really open and interested and invested in each dance in which they perform.
learning more about one another, which is why I think BMDT is so great because it provides that space for people to have those In preparation for its spring concert, the group is working difficult conversations and then bring that difficulty through through a piece choreographed by guest artist Christopher movement, so a lot of what we talk about we try to convey with Huggins, who has danced with the Alvin Ailey American dance,” said Erra. Dance Theatre, a prestigious company founded by Ailey, a Erra noted that the diversity of the group today continues the choreographer and activist who influenced modern dance and long tradition of the need for diversity in dance. She explained paved the way for many black artists in the field. that while the dance world remains segregated today due to “It’s an examination of what was and in many ways still is,” said BMDT’s artistic director Alfreda Davis, a professor in the Department of Performing Arts, regarding the inspiration behind the dance that Huggins shared with her. The dance ends with one member turning to what will soon be the audience in the Gonda Theatre and asking, “So what you gonna do?”––the last line of the accompanying song that invokes images of police brutality.
As a freshman, Erra had a harder time connecting with dances, but as the group has made a more explicit effort to costly dance training, BMDT embraces dancers of all skill levels. address social issues, it has become easier for her. After the Ariel Calver (COL ‘20), who has been dancing since she was Women’s March on Washington in January, the company sat four, joined BMDT last semester to expose herself to new dance down and talked before dancing. Whether or not they supported the march, all the dancers were able to express their feelings styles, and said that diversity in BMDT goes beyond race. during a challenging, emotional time. These conversations “We have people of completely different body shapes—really manifest themselves at BMDT’s concerts with videos and music tall, really short. And no matter what, when you watch everyone that directly address current events and injustices. In December dancing, they look amazing when they’re doing it,” Calver said. 2016, the group held a question and answer session after the “No matter who you are, you can dance.” show to allow audience members and the company to engage Whether it’s jazz, hip hop, traditional African dance, or with the context around the pieces. almost any other style, BMDT employs a variety of genres to tell “BMDT is a group of people who aren’t afraid to express complex story lines, and Defiance is no exception. and talk about a lot of taboo subjects,” Newman said. In a dance
Huggins’ piece, among others, will be highlighted during BMDT’s spring concert, Defiance, on Feb. 24-25, when the company will celebrate its 35th anniversary. Inspired by the success of black female Olympians and fueled by the current Joy Wang (COL ‘19), who grew up in Beijing, choreographed political context in the United States, Defiance continues a dance for the performance that combines Chinese traditional BMDT’s history of dance motivated by social justice and dance with contemporary styles to convey a message that empowerment of people who face oppression. emphasizes the need for educational access for women’s access “Being a part of the company, it’s not only about coming to education. in, dancing, doing a plié, and leaving. That’s not what it’s about. The dancers move with a sharp precision, their arms open We’re trying to relay a larger message,” said Ashley Newman (COL ‘18), one of BMDT’s student and pointed as Wang’s dance begins. Davis called it a perfect example of keeping with the founding mission of BMDT while directors. still embracing the company’s diversity. Although founded in 1982 to express black For Wang, stories of young girls in rural China and around experiences through dance, BMDT the world who work to advocate for women’s right to education has never been a company epitomize Defiance. limited only to black dancers or black audiences, said Choreographing a traditional Chinese dance for BMDT Elizabeth Erra (COL ‘17), a did come with some challenges, though, mostly related to the student director of BMDT. technical side of dance, Wang said. Embracing diversity within “People move differently, so they can’t really understand the Georgetown community what a gesture is trying to convey. It really takes me a lot of time is also one of its founding to figure out what kind of gesture can show the audience directly tenets. Though no longer a what I want to convey,” Wang added.
Kevin Jaewon Choi
Joseph said that, in the past year, finding emotional inspiration as a dancer has not been hard given the current racial climate in the United States. As BMDT’s members continue to navigate their own identities, the group has also seen increased messaging around social justice in their performances. “We’re dancing for a reason here,” Joseph said.
she choreographed for Defiance, she portrayed her struggles of growing up as a young black girl in a predominately white school district. Trying to keep to her white classmates’ beauty standards, Newman said it wasn’t until she came to Georgetown that she came to terms with her own beauty as a black woman. To convey this message, she separated the white dancers in her piece from the dancers of color, each group wearing different costumes. “There’s beauty in the diversity that is your skin and that is my skin,” Newman said. “That difference between us is what makes everyone unique.” “Dancers are thinkers,” Davis said, a line that she often repeats to her students. Citing singer and activist Paul Robeson, Davis described artists as gatekeepers for a radical voice and said they are always a pulse for what happens in society. Davis sees BMDT as fitting into Georgetown’s larger mission of engagement with social justice issues.
This year, the company received funding from a variety of sources on campus, including the Office of the President and the Corp, which has allowed it to bring in dancers like Huggins and Marsman, Davis said. She also praised the university for Jasmin Joseph (MSB ‘17), who faced similar obstacles when embracing and reconciling with its history of slavery. A grant from choreographing a South African dance last semester, noted how the Working Group on Slavery, Memory, and Reconciliation will challenging it can be to connect to other students’ choreography, help fund in part a short documentary to be showed at Defiance like Wang’s dance, both because of the technical aspects of dance about the founding of BMDT. and because of the group’s diverse backgrounds. As the company prepares for its 35th anniversary show, Erra In Defiance, dances address abstract concepts of overcoming said the presence of BMDT on campus remains a necessity. adversity and historical events, such as the Freedom Riders “We use creative ways to talk about issues that occur on movement. For BMDT, its identity as a dance theatre—not campus and nationally. It’s different stumbling upon a protest in just a dance group—matters to students as they begin to think about the story behind each dance. For example, Davis explained Red Square than it is to come to a show,” Erra said. “And I think that when guest artist Levi Marsman worked with the group, there are still some challenges within systems and institutions he told them about being in Dallas during the July 2016 police at Georgetown that require that we have a presence on campus, shooting—the central narrative of his dance—before even that we still have access to certain resources so that we’re able to do what we’ve done for the past almost four decades.” showing them a single movement in the piece.
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
Spirit and Soul in
“The Café Life” By Brynn Furey
“The Warmth of the Sun”
The beautiful paintings of Rodgers Naylor’s collection “The Café Life” inspire a cozy feeling in the Susan Calloway Fine Arts gallery. The bright colors and happy scenes glow against the white walls. Even Naylor himself is radiating warmth as he stands in the middle of the gallery, comfortable in a snug sweater with a coffee in one hand. He is surrounded by his depictions of “café society,” a concept that refers to the role of cafés in Parisian life during the 19th and 20th centuries. The paintings in “The Café Life” collection show how this concept continues to be a defining feature of contemporary social activity in urban settings. Naylor’s goal with this collection is simple: to portray the goodness of humanity. He says, “I’m trying to depict the sort of cozy, warm side of human life: the camaraderie, the togetherness, and the warmth—the human warmth.” Café society is an unequaled reflection of this side of life because it depicts family, friends, and strangers gathering around the table to eat, drink, and enjoy each other’s company. Two complementary paintings in the collection are entitled “The Feast of Reason” and “The Flow of Soul” in reference to a famous quote from Alexander Pope’s collection of poems Imitations of Horace. The significance of these titles parallels the main theme: that café society brings people together for lively debate, honest discourse, and human connection. To bring these ideas to life, Naylor began by photographing scenes of café society that he found to be enjoyable, ranging from a group of friends sitting together outside a coffee shop in Paris to a couple of strangers on a quiet morning in an American diner. After he captured the scenes he wanted to recreate, he started painting, focusing especially on the use of color. Naylor primed the blank canvas with a warm color like yellow or orange, sometimes even using a light red. The final product inevitably had a warm glow to it as the light colors shone underneath the details of the painting. Even the frames around the paintings were primed with red and then covered over, making the warm colors of the painting appear even more vibrant. Naylor subsequently painted over the base color with visible brush strokes and varying degrees of texture. He used heavy texture in the areas that he wanted viewers to focus on. In some paintings this method created an almost three-dimensional effect, while in others it simply sharpened the targeted areas. Naylor’s style is also notable for the large brushstrokes visible in his work. Rather than blending all of the colors together and erasing signs of the creation process, Naylor lets the audience see his artistic hand at work. In this way, viewers can connect with him and follow the movements of his brush as he painted. Warm colors, varied texture, and noticeable brush strokes are all essential components of creating light in the paintings. Light plays a vital role in Naylor’s collection because it helps set the mood for the audience. Naylor utilizes a wide variety of lighting in his paintings ranging from full, overhead sunlight to an evening ambience to an artificial incandescence. The light in “Market Café” is particularly remarkable because the angle of the sun produces hazy shadows, adding another dimension to an already captivating outdoor scene. Furthermore, “Under the White Umbrella” shows a café at the height of the afternoon when the sun is high in the sky and its golden rays can be seen reflecting off of the glass windows. Each portrayal of light evokes different emotions within the audience from the hopeful yearning for a summer day to the tranquilizing effect of interior light. A central theme in this collection is ambiguity. Although all of the paintings are based on photographs from real places, the locations aren’t listed with them. This allows the viewers to ponder about where they think it is or where they want it to be. Likewise, the specific details of the paintings, like the faces of the people, are blurred and obscured.
This vagueness creates space for imagination and enhances the experience of the viewers, who can weave their own interpretation of the art. Naylor said, “When I am looking at a painting, it is fun for me if I am imagining who the people might be and what they are up to and what their background is and what is going on around them. If I tell the viewer all that, then there’s nothing left for them to do.” In the spirit of creativity, Naylor leaves the details of the scene sufficiently unclear so that the audience has a chance to interact with the work. The paintings featured in Rodgers Naylor’s “The Café Life” elicit intrigue, happiness, and warmth. The artist uses rich color and bold light to magnify harmonious scenes of human interaction. The collection mirrors hope and love in modern society, leaving viewers feeling full, as if they, too, had just enjoyed a satisfying meal, a hot cup of coffee, and a vibrant discussion with good friends.
FEBRUARY 17, 2015
THE OSCARS BEST PICTURE
THE VOICE PREDICTS THE OSCARS
Who Will Win: Moonlight. Who Should Win: Arrival.
It is tempting to place La La Land and its bevy of Oscar nominations here, but after winning the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Moonlight has too much momentum to be overtaken by the beautiful ballads of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Writer and director Barry Jenkins crafts a beautifully constructed coming of age tale. The film is gorgeously shot, and the story is powerful, if somewhat clichéd. Choosing Moonlight would also help the Academy battle criticisms about how it handles diversity in film, although the film is qualified on its own merit. While Moonlight will be a smart choice for the Academy, selecting Arrival would be a bold and necessary move. A science fiction film has never won the Best Picture Oscar before and, fortunately enough, this year is the perfect time to change that. Arrival is one of the best science fiction films of the last 25 years. It is ostensibly about first contact with an alien race, but it is also about time, language, and parenthood. The ending is equal parts surprising and heart-breaking, with one of the better twists to come out of Hollywood in recent years. Few films balance such a plethora of themes without feeling too bogged down, and Arrival achieves this balance perfectly. Thanks to strong performances from its leads, sublime direction from Denis Villeneuve, and a stunning ending, Arrival is a superb choice. With serious science-fiction films gaining more and more mainstream success, it is time to give the genre the recognition it deserves. -Graham Piro
Who Will Win: Damien Chazelle, La La Land Who Should Win: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
In reality, Barry Jenkins of Moonlight and Damien Chazelle of La La Land are the only viable nominees for best director. Chazelle directed the year’s most vibrant film, abundant with uncut takes of beautiful people singing, dancing, and performing synchronized flips. La La Land makes masterful use of color and set design to convey mood and subtly communicate with the audience. At times heartrending, hilarious, and endearing, La La Land is a fantastic movie and signals a bright career for 32-year-old Chazelle. Chazelle has been handily dominant in his path to the Academy Awards (securing a Golden Globe, Director’s Guild of America Award, and a Critic’s Choice Award), making him a near lock for the Oscar. Jenkins, however, directed one of the most provoking films of the past year. Moonlight is a pensive, emotional film that combines extended cuts, a careful soundtrack, and flawless casting to create a masterpiece. Tracking the main character through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, Jenkins’ long shots allow the full force of the actors’ detailed expressiveness and emotion to manifest themselves. Purposeful cuts and musical cues top off Moonlight to set the film’s tone and to drive home its message with lasting effect. One can only hope that Jenkins’ poignant, beautiful exploration of identity will triumph. -Gustav Honl-Stuenkel
Who Will Win: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea Who Should Win: Affleck
Long present only on the outskirts of Hollywood, Casey Affleck has been thrust into the spotlight for his critically acclaimed performance in Manchester by the Sea. After being saddled with the responsibility of raising his teenage nephew with the death of his older brother, Affleck’s Lee Chandler must confront the grim tragedy from which he fled the small Mass. town Manchester in the first place. Affleck’s performance is quiet, restrained, and suffocated under the burden of a great grief. He perfectly portrays the complexities of wrestling with forgiveness—the responsibility one has to forgive others but also the responsibility to forgive oneself. Although all the nominees gave worthy performances, none of the other actors in the category seem likely to overtake Affleck’s momentum. Andrew Garfield gave a remarkable performance in the excessively violent WWII-drama Hacksaw Ridge, and Viggo Mortensen is both thoughtful and powerful in his role in Captain Fantastic. Both may have been larger contenders if their films had received wider recognition. Denzel Washington surprisingly triumphed over Affleck at the SAG Awards for his role in Fences, and probably represents Affleck’s closest competition for the award. Some might believe that Ryan Gosling will swoop in after La La Land’s sweep at the Golden Globes and plethora of Oscar nominations. However, one can only hope that the Academy will choose Affleck’s nuanced, subtle portrait of navigating grief rather than Gosling’s less thought-provoking, albeit charismatic, performance. -Caitlin Mannering
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
SEPTEMBER 25, 2015
SEPTEMBER 25, 2015
SEPTEMBER 25, 2015
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE 13
THE GEORGETOWN VOICE
Who Will Win: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight Who Should Win: Ali
Despite being upset by Aaron Taylor-Johnson at the Golden Globes, Ali seems destined for his first Oscar on Feb. 26. Jeff Bridges’ performance in Hell or High Water, like the film itself, deserves more attention, and Dev Patel helps make Lion one of the more heartwarming films of this awards season, but Ali’s performaner is too much to overcome. As Juan, a crack dealer, he packs humanity and heartbreak into every minute of his screentime, standing out as the most notable performance in a film filled with exemplary acting. Ali has recently become more of a household name with standout roles in House of Cards and Luke Cage, but here he reveals a range that extends far beyond what he has displayed on Netflix. It remains to be seen if Moonlight can bring home major hardware in Picture and Direction (it’s deserving of either but vulnerable to La La Land fever), but Ali’s performance should ensure the film will have at least one major moment on stage. -Caitlin Mannering
Who Will Win: Emma Stone, La La Land Who Should Win: Natalie Portman, Jackie
With Amy Adams nowhere to be found, the Best Actress race promised to be full of surprises from the start. The nominees include perennial champion Meryl “Three Times” Streep, who snuck in with a nomination for her role as the titular character in Florence Foster Jenkins, and Ruth Negga, who earned recognition for her portrayal as one-half of an interracial couple in Loving. While both women are certainly deserving, the Oscars is the time for splashier, Oscar-baitier performances, and the frontrunners deliver. While some are optimistic that Isabelle Huppert—who won this year’s Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama for her performance in the French-language film Elle—will have a Mark Rylance-esque upset, the field looks to have narrowed to Natalie Portman and Emma Stone. Stone shuffles and sings as Mia, a striving wannabe actress, in the colorful, unabashedly feel-good movie of the year. Portman, on the other hand, is subtle and somber—a powerful symbol of grief, strength, and the Camelot myth as Jackie Kennedy in the wake of her husband’s death. While Stone should be commended for her affecting, joyous, triple-threat performance, Portman takes character study to a whole new level: she is performing a performance. She inhabits a legendary woman—someone more fiction than reality—and expertly portrays all the complexities and heartbreak inherent in that contradiction. Not even their awards track record gives experts any clear indication of who will reign supreme: Stone picked up a SAG award and Portman got a Critic’s Choice Award; both honors are highly predictive of who will take home the big one. However, considering that Portman won a Best Actress Oscar in the not-so-distant past for Black Swan and that the Academy loves to award fresh-faced ingénues, it’s a fair bet that Stone will ride the seemingly unstoppable momentum of La La Land all the way to her first Academy Award. -Amy Guay
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Who Will Win: Viola Davis, Fences Who Should Win: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea
This award is definitely Viola’s to lose. If past award ceremonies are to be taken into account, she’s swept almost every Best Supporting Actress award this year (Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice, and SAG), and it’s easy to see why. Her role in Fences is stunning and poignant, and the film showcases her devotion to the character throughout. Fences is a powerful culmination of what’s made her previous work great. The Academy is going to be eager to award not only that particular performance but also her career thus far. Davis is dedicated to her craft, and the Academy will recognize that on Oscar night. Although the sensational roles often get the Oscar, everything about Manchester by the Sea and Michelle Williams’s character is restrained, grounded, and quietly chaotic. Williams plays Affleck’s estranged ex-wife in Manchester, and her performance expertly articulates the grief of a devastated mother. In what is one of the most heart-shattering yet realistically grounded scenes in recent years, her character has a coincidental encounter with her ex-husband wherein she expresses her remorse about how she’s treated him. Williams is able to capture feelings here that are universal, even if one hasn’t experienced the awful grief that her character has. In that scene alone, she’s able to blow Best Actor favorite Casey Affleck out of the water. Without explanation, she’s able to effectively relay a trauma that stunts both characters, planting seeds to blossom in the emotional arc of the overall film. Michelle Williams is a treasure, and she will no doubt continue to impress throughout her career. -Eman Rahman
All Photos from imdb