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Arts and Entertainment

Musician/Filmmaker Patrick Mureithi Featured in MSU's "Shattering the Silences" Series

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(Photo courtesy www.patrickmureithi.com)
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The Missouri State University Division for Diversity and Inclusion and the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning welcome filmmaker and musician Patrick Mureithi for a special Black History Month event, "Shattering the Silences: Trauma and Healing in the Diaspora", Thursday Feb.23 from 4:00 to 6:00pm in Plaster Student Union Theatre.  It promises to be an afternoon of musical healing, storytelling and collective engagement; it's billed as an Afrocentric look at social trauma and healing through a "house concert" musical presentation by Patrick Mureithi with streaming video of how communities can heal from past injustices and how personal traumas may be addressed through this process.  

Patrick Mureithi says he loves the "house concert" format.  "I get to tell stories behind the songs, adn perform songs that are deeply personal to me.  And in this particular presentation I'm also going to talk about documentary work that I did in Rwanda that focused on the gathering of ten survivors and ten perpetrators of the 1994 genocide; also documentary work I did in Kenya that looked at healing from psychological trauma after the post-election violence in late 2007-08."

Mureithi will show video excerpts from both documentaries, "sprinkled with some songs.  In fact, I have some songs that have been inspired by my experiences in Rwanda and in Kenya."  However, he is quick to emphasize that "this is more than just about the Rwandan or Kenyan story.  How do we move on with our lives? How do we heal after facing traumatic experiences? Every human being walking on this planet has dealt with some kind of trauma--or you're dealing (currently) with some kind of trauma... or you're going to." And people, he says, need to be educated about trauma, stress and anxiety and how best to deal with them. "There are tools that we talk about and that we can learn that can help us better deal with these incidences."

During his house concerts Patrick Mureithi takes the opportunity to share some of the stress-relief techniques that were featured in his "Kenya: Until Hope is Found" documentary.  "It's important for us to do things that are loving acts toward ourselves, that can get us to a place where we can more intuitively deal with life as it's unfolding."

For our KSMU "Arts News" listeners Patrick brought along his slide guitar and performed one of his original songs, "Brother Blue."  You can hear it as part of our interview by clicking on the audio link above.

"Shattering the Silences: Trauma and Healing in the Diaspora" is a free event, open to the public. The MSU Division for Diversity and Inclusion's "Shattering the Silences" series is a year-round effort to help educate and give credence and a voice to important topics for the campus, and to departments and groups needing a forum to discuss national, regional and local matters.   Heading the program is Dr. Jamaine Abidogan, MSU Professor of History and Diversity Fellow for the Division for Diversity and Inclusion.  She told KSMU listeners about another program in the year-long "African and Africian American Studies Speaker Series," taking place Thursday February 16th.  Dr. David Roediger, Foundation Distinguished Professor of American Studies and History at Kansas University, will discuss major themes from his book "Seizing Freedom: Slave Emancipation and Liberty for All." Dr. Abidogan says Roediger's work "is both historical and contemporary.  He actually works into his presentation how these race constructions that developed pre- and post-Civil War impact us today"--including the recent Michael Brown incident in Ferguson, Missouri.  Dr. Roediger's presentation will be from 4:30 to 6:00pm Thursday Feb.16 in Meyer Library, Room 101.  Light refreshments will be served, and copies of Roediger's book will be available for purchase.

For more information on these and other programs visit http://diversity.missouristate.edu or call 836-3736.