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Mary Norris Shares Her Passionate Greek Travelogue

City of Asylum (2018)

Mary Norris

Tuesday, July 16th
7:00 pm

A passion for punctuation meets a love for all things Greek.

Mary Norris’ new memoir Greek to Me, traces a decades-long obsession with Greece: its language, literature, mythologies, people, places, food, and monuments. It’s a captivating and satisfying account of a great passion, and is sure to move anyone who’s ever fallen in love with a place.

Mary Norris

Norris is the famous New Yorker copy editor who’s New York Times bestseller, Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, delighted readers with her irreverent tales of punctuation in the celebrated copy department. Norris visits City of Asylum to read from Greek to Me, another witty record of her equally passionate fascination with Greece.

A combination of memoir, travelogue, and funny ode to the art of self-expressio, Greek to Me will illuminate for audiences the music of a language that so deeply influences our own.

Mary Norris worked for the New Yorker as a copy editor and query proofreader for more than thirty years. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Norris now lives in New York and Rockaway.

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Iraqi Poet and Translator in Conversation

City of Asylum (2018)

Dunya Mikhail

Monday, July 8th
7:00 pm

Iraqi poet, memoirist, and journalist Dunya Mikhail writes in both Arabic and English. Arabic is the language she thinks and dreams in but, Dunya notes, English has made her more sensitive, more aware of her word choice. Translating between languages allows her to better understand her own words, her own thoughts.

Dunya Mikhail

“The popular phrase is ‘lost in translation’ but I think, really, things are found in translation.” —Dunya Mikhail

Dunya will read from a selection of her newest works, discuss her process of self translation, and reflect on the strange and sometimes emotional experience of external translators working on her most personal pieces.

Dunya last read for a pack City of Asylum crowd in 2015. We’re excited to welcome her back for the fourth installment of our Art of Translation series.

Dunya Mikhail was born in Baghdad. After graduation from the University of Baghdad, she worked as a journalist and translator for the Baghdad Observer. Facing censorship and interrogation, she left Iraq in 1996, first to Jordan and then to America. Mikhail’s honors include the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Knights Foundation grant, the Kresge Fellowship, and the United Nations Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. She is the co-founder of Michigan-community-based Mesopotamian Forum for Art and Culture. She currently works as a special lecturer of Arabic at Oakland University in Michigan.

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Celebrate a Jazzy Pre-Independence Day with Yoko Suzuki

City of Asylum (2018)

Yoko Suzuki Trio

Wednesday, July 3rd
7:00 pm

What better way to kick off the July 4th holiday than with crowd favorite Yoko Suzuki Trio?

Yoko Suzuki Trio

A musician known both locally and nationally, and an ethnomusicologist, Yoko’s playing is deeply informed by jazz across the globe, especially Japan where she trained. Yoko’s concerts are not only a musical treat but also deeply informed by her rich historical knowledge.

Featured Musicians

Yoko Suzuki: Alto saxophone
Cliff Barnes: Organ/piano
James Johnson III: Drums

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Stirring Film Features One inspirational Senegalese Girl

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun

Saturday, June 29th
3:00 pm

The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun (La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil) is a luminous portrait of Sili—a twelve year old paraplegic girl in Dakar.

The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun

“A masterpiece of understated humanity” – The New York Times

Against the wishes of street boys, Sili is determined to be a street vendor of “Le Soleil,” the national newspaper of Senegal. It is at once a tribute to the indomitable spirit of the street children of Dakar and to the individual’s capability for transforming her situation.

This film will be presented in Wolof with English subtitles. Run time: 49 minutes.

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Documentary Reveals Pittsburgh’s “Quiet Soldier” for Civil Rights

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Wendell Grimke Freeland:
A Quiet Soldier in the Fight for Civil Rights

Monday, June 17th
7:00 pm

Tuskegee Airman. Civil Rights attorney. Powerful advocate for the poor and the disenfranchised.

Wendell stands at the top. He was that kind of guy, with a deep-seeded sense of commitment.” — Civil rights advocate and New Pittsburgh Courier columnist Louis “Hop” Kendrick

Wendell Freeland

Wendell Freeland devoted seventy years to fighting injustice wherever he found it, from the age of Jim Crow to that of Barack Obama. Though a Baltimore native, Freeland made the most impact in Pittsburgh. He blazed a trail for racial equality by working largely behind the scenes in America’s courtrooms, boardrooms, and political backrooms. He served as Chairman of the board of directors of Pittsburgh’s Urban League and as Senior Vice President of the National Urban League Board of Trustees.

This is his inspirational story and a significant piece of American history.

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Poet Corrine Jasmin Navigates Trauma with Resilience

City of Asylum (2018)

NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania Presents

Stories That Heal

Thursday, May 30th
7:00 pm

Stories That Heal — presented by NAMI Keystone Pennsylvania — returns with their monthly reading series highlighting local authors who live with and/or have a loved one who lives with mental health conditions. Their stories promote empathy, foster resilience and uncover the truths about living with a mental health diagnosis.

Corrine Jasmin

This May features Corrine Jasmin, local writer, artist, and filmmaker. Corrine uses her work as a tool for healing, loving and making sense of a chaotic world. Her work frequently features her “Trifecta” narrative: being black, being a woman and being queer. She will read from Tread, her poetry collection that touches on mental health, childhood trauma, falling in love, heartbreak and self-loathing.

Corrine presented a moving multimedia performance at Alphabet City in April 2017, and we’re thrilled to welcome her back as we celebrate Pittsburgh literature and fight stigma!

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One of “The 14 Best Queer International Films of 2018”–Indiewire

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

A Moment in the Reeds

Wednesday, May 29th
7:00 pm

Set on the quiet and secluded shores of a Finish lakeside, A Moment in the Reeds tells an intense emotional story of a young Finnish man who embarks on a whirlwind love affair with the Syrian refugee his father has hired to help renovate their summer home.

A Moment in the Reeds

“This gay love story defies borders … [the] chemistry in the film is palpable.” – The Advocate

A response to an absence of queer narratives in Finnish cinema, this film is among the first queer feature films made in the country. Viewing Finland from the perspectives both of an immigrant and an emigrant, the film casts the long-marginalised voices of sexual and ethnic minorities center-stage.

Weaving themes of national identity, queerness, and outsiderness into an engaging and steamy drama, this is a story about the search for a place to call home.

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A Documentary About a Woman Who Became a Word

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

Tchindas

Wednesday, April 24th
7:00 pm

As Randy Gilson is to Northside’s Randyland … Tchinda Andrade is to Carnival on Cape Verde. She is legendary for her creativity, making displays and costumes from scant resources.

And just as “Randy” (no last name needed) is one of the most loved and well-known people on the Northside, “Tchinda” became one of most beloved and celebrated women in Cape Verde.

Tchindas

And – here is where the story gets especially interesting – when Tchinda came out as transgender in 1998, she became even more popular. Her name inspired a term (affectionate not derogatory) used by locals to name queer Cape Verdeans. They are called “Tchindas.”

The documentary won the Grand Jury Award at Outfest, was nominated for an Africa Movie Academy Award and screened at the New York African Film Festival earlier this year. It’s also made a star of its protagonist.

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Award-winning Sundance Documentary on the Trans Experience

City of Asylum (2018)

ReelQ Presents

America in Transition

Sunday, March 31st
2:00 pm

In honor of Trans Day of Visibility, ReelQ presents a screening of “Where is my Refuge,” episode 4 of the award-winning Sundance documentary series America in Transition. This screening will be followed by a Skype discussion and Q&A lead by the subject of the documentary episode, Nina Chaubal.

America in Transition

America in Transition is an award-winning, Sundance-backed documentary series exploring relationships, family and social issues with trans people of color across the United States. Each episode explores one person’s story in depth, tackling intersectional issues such as HIV criminalization, living as trans in the South, family acceptance, trans exclusion from the military and immigrant detention.

Episode 4: “Where Is My Refuge” follows the story of Nina. After growing up misunderstood in India, Nina fell in love with another trans woman in the Bay. Together, they built a suicide hotline by road-triping across small town America and connecting with thousands of trans people. But her life changed in an instant. When Arizona authorities stopped her for being brown, they then refused to release her insisting that her marriage – and therefore her immigration status – was invalid. In the month since her detention, Nina’s been caught in legal limbo, afraid she’ll be forced to leave the country where she’s saved so many lives.

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Five Fingers for Marseilles Brings the Spaghetti Western to South Africa

City of Asylum (2018)

Sembène – The Film & Art Festival Presents

Five Fingers for Marseilles

Monday, March 18th
7:00 pm

Twenty years ago, the young Five Fingers posse fought for the rural town of Marseilles against the brutal oppression of Apartheid South Africa.

Their battle is heartfelt but innocent, until hot-headed Tau kills two policemen in an act of passion. He flees, leaving his brothers and friends behind, but his action has triggered a violent fight that will leave both Marseilles and the Five Fingers forever changed.

Five Fingers for Marseilles

“Here, saloon doors are blazoned with crosses, villains wear white shawls instead of black hats and freedom fighters shoot peashooters rather than pistols. In stylish and entertaining fashion, “Five Fingers for Marseilles” looks over the South African countryside and finds fresh vistas for the western genre.” – New York Times

Twenty years later, Tau is released from prison, and returns seeking peace. Finding the town under new threat, he must reluctantly fight to free it. Will the Five Fingers brotherhood stand again?

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