‘The Trials of Spring’ screening and discussion to focus on political and social justice

March 20, 2017 | Arts, Events, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Madison Vasko

In a time of cultural and political upheaval in her home country, Hend Nafea will visit campus to share her story with the UT community.

“The Trials of Spring” tells the story of 21-year-old Nafea’s indomitable spirit, and her journey after being arrested for speaking out against her country’s military rule.

“The film shows, not only the actions taken, but the suffering that existed before and after,” said Dr. Asma Abdel Halim, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies. “Autobiographical and biographical stories are detailed and inspiring. I think the film tells us about the fear that was instilled in the people through decades of oppression and the unbelievable courage that overcame that immense fear.”

Nafea traveled from her village to Cairo, where she advocated with thousands of Egyptians for the end of military rule. She was arrested, beaten and tortured by security forces. After her release, Nafea was shunned by her family for bringing shame to their name.

All are invited to attend a free screening and discussion of the film Wednesday, March 22. Refreshments will be served starting at 6:30 p.m., and the film will begin at 7 p.m. in the Driscoll Alumni Center Auditorium.

The discussion with Nafea will be moderated by Abdel Halim and Dr. Renée Heberle, professor and honors adviser in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration.

“It is important for every woman that participates in an action that leads to change to tell her story. Even within those seeking change, one cannot ignore the gender aspect of activism. It is also necessary for documenting such events for women’s history, as most of the time this history is ignored,” said Abdel Halim. “Real heroism is seen in actions taken by the powerless, as such actions are taken by the most unexpected actors, such as women. It is really empowering for people everywhere, to see that everything is possible and the biggest obstacles are surmountable.”

The event, one of many scheduled at UT for Women’s History Month, is sponsored by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies; School of Interdisciplinary Studies; Office of Diversity and Inclusion; Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women; Program in Law and Social Thought; and Office of Student Services.

For more information, contact Abdel Halim by calling 419.530.2233.

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