Please join Magic of Cinema, Peninsula College Forks, and the Peninsula College Library for a screening of Minor Differences, the story of five juvenile offenders in maximum security lock-up.
A screening at Peninsula College’s Port Angeles campus will take place on Thursday, October 25, at 7:00 pm in Maier Performance Hall.
On Friday, October 26, Peninsula College Forks will host a screening beginning at 7:00 pm at their 481 S. Forks Avenue location. Both screenings are free and open to the public.
After each screening, which will be hosted by the Port Angeles Racial Justice Collective, filmmaker Heather Dew Oaksen will join audience members for a Q-and-A session.
Oaksen did not set out to establish long-term relationships with these jailed teens. But they won her heart and she won their trust. Their powerful first person stories illustrate their struggle to overcome childhood trauma and incarceration as viewers witness their transformation from boys to men.
Eighteen years ago, Oaksen taught a video production class at Green Hill School, a maximum security prison for juveniles in Chehalis, WA. There she got to know the young men of Minor Differences. At the time, they were boys between the ages of 16 and 19.
In creating their own videos, the boys momentarily shed their labels of "offender" or "gang banger" and revealed themselves to be engaging young people who aspired to stay out of jail and lead satisfying lives. They still had hopes for the future. Oaksen learned that despite their youthful mistakes, they were smart, likable individuals, and she kept in contact. Minor Differences is an update on the boys, now men in their mid-30's.
As an artist, Oaksen has worked to give "voice" to sub-groups within American culture creating stories that give visibility to their identity and concerns.
Her work alternates between advocacy for others and personal reflection as she finds that each feeds the other with unanticipated outcomes. In the last 10 years, Oaksen's projects have ranged from experimental documentaries to three-dimensional, multi-screen video projections in public spaces. Using film and video to explore the intersection between fact and fiction, Oaksen creates an "encounter" that challenges the viewer to see issues in new ways.
She has received numerous awards including support from The Flintridge Foundation, Artist Trust, Art Matters, The Phelan Foundation, the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and the American Film Institute. Oaksen's videos and media installations are exhibited throughout the U.S. and Canada. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.U.P. in Urban Planning from the University of Oregon. Oaksen recently retired as a Professor at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, where she taught video art/film since 1989.
For more information contact Dr. Helen Lovejoy@ email@example.com.