Open Class: The Power of Voice in the Cinema of Social Change

Interdisciplinary research,
education and capacity building

20 Apr 2017

Next Wednesday, John Fiege, Professor at the University of Texas, in Austin, will give an Open Class about Cinema and Social Change in the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto.

Within the context of the activities of the UT Austin | Portugal Program, John Fiege, Professor at the University of Texas, at Austin, will give an Open Class entitled "The Power of Voice in the Cinema of Social Change", next Wednesday, April 26, in the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto.


Date: Wednesday, April 26 (17:00)
Venue: FBAUP, University of Porto – Aula Magna
Entrance: Free
Speaker: John Fiege


John Fiege makes films that engage pressing issues of environmental and social justice through the voices of those on the frontlines of injustice. He is motivated by a desire for a more just society through social change; and in the pursuit of creating a cinema of social change, he has defined an artistic voice of his own. Focused on the American South, his work delves into environmental destruction, race, gender, inequality, immigration, faith, social movements, and the arts. This lecture will probe the power of voice in the cinema of social change through an exploration of John’s work and its place in a broader project of the arts as a public intellectual pursuit. He will show clips from several of his film projects—features and shorts, completed and in-progress—and discuss storytelling, production, interactivity, outreach, fundraising, and perseverance in a media landscape dominated by commercial interests.


About the Speaker

John Fiege is a director, cinematographer, and photographer whose films have played at the Cannes Film Festival, SXSW, Museum of Modern Art, and Hot Docs, among many others. His latest film, ABOVE ALL ELSE, is a feature-length documentary about the Keystone XL pipeline that premiered at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, with an international premiere at Hot Docs. The film won Best North American Documentary at the Global Visions Festival and a Special Jury Prize at the Dallas International Film Festival. MISSISSIPPI CHICKEN, his intimate portrait of immigrants working in the poultry industry, was nominated for a Gotham Award for “The Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.” He recently photographed the 2014 Sundance documentary selection, NO NO: A DOCKUMENTARY. Currently, he’s in development on a performance-based film called In the Air, in which artists from the Gulf Coast use dance, spoken word, and visual art to tell stories of environmental injustice, survival, and alternative visions for the future. He holds a BA from Carleton College, an MS in cultural geography and environmental history from The Pennsylvania State University, and an MFA in film production from the University of Texas at Austin, where he also works as a lecturer.