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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Documentary Film Screening: Rothstein's First Assignment
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Time: 6:00 PM–8:00 PM
Place: Lecture Hall, Free

In 1935, New Deal photographer Arthur Rothstein was sent to the mountains of Virginia to photograph the residents of the Appalachian backwoods and hollows before they were displaced to make room for Shenandoah National Park. Together with Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange, Rothstein produced some of the most important and moving images of America's Great Depression. Director Richard Robinson retraces Rothstein's steps by interviewing descendants of the mountain people, which he beautifully weaves together with a 1964 audio interview of Rothstein and archival newsreel and film footage. During the course of his research, however, Robinson discovered evidence that Rothstein's images were not pure documentation, but often staged for the camera. Digging beneath the official story, the film unearths an unsettling link between propaganda and documentary, and raises troubling questions about the photographer's complicity in the displacement of thousands of people for “progress.” Robinson's most chilling discovery, though, is the forced institutionalization and sterilization of mountain residents as part of Virginia's eugenic program, which sterilized more than 8,000 individuals. This fascinating film challenges the viewer to consider the complexity behind images that are viewed as historical truth. A Q&A session with Robinson and assistant producer Katrina Powell will follow the screening, and the Library of Virginia's exhibition You Have No Right: Law and Justice in Virginia will be open for viewing. Style Weekly is the media sponsor for programming for You Have No Right: Law and Justice in Virginia.


You Have No Right: Law and Justice
Monday, September 24, 2012 — Saturday, May 18, 2013
Place: Exhibition Hall, Free

Using Virginia cases—and the stories of the people behind them—You Have No Right: Law and Justice will demonstrate how the law affects individuals directly and how people have used the law to achieve political and social goals. Using original records and electronic resources to convey the themes of human rights, citizenship, and the rule of law in a lively and engaging presentation, visitors will explore questions about citizenship, marriage rights, eminent domain, and why prosecutors have to prove guilt and defense lawyers don't have to prove innocence.