UNA-NY Screening the Issues

Have You Heard From Johannesburg:
From Selma to Soweto

A special screening celebrating Black History Month
and commemorating 2011 as
UN International Year for People of African Descent

Followed by a post-screening discussion with our special guests

Ambassador and Permanent Representative of South Africa
to the United Nations

former Executive Director of the American Committee on Africa

Friday, February 18, 2011
6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Reception w/Cash Bar
Screening begins promptly at 7:00 p.m.

The Tribeca Grand Hotel
2 Avenue of the Americas (between White and Walker Streets)
New York, NY

ADMISSION for this Special Event:

STUDENTS: Free Admission

PLEASE NOTE: this event is now SOLD OUT.
For more information call (212) 907-1353 or e-mail: info@unanyc.org

FROM SELMA TO SOWETO is part of a powerful new documentary series, produced and directed by two-time Academy Award nominee Connie Field. Produced internationally over 10 years, the series of seven films, Have You Heard From Johannesburg, shines light on the history of the global citizens movements that took on South Africa's entrenched apartheid regime and its international supporters who considered South Africa an ally in the Cold War. We are proud to honor this year's Black History Month with a special Screening the Issues presentation of the fifth film in the series.

Long one of South Africa's most important and powerful allies, the United States became a key battleground in the anti-apartheid movement as African-Americans led the charge to change the government's policy toward the apartheid regime. Strengthened through years of grassroots organizing during the civil rights movement, black leaders and their allies took on U.S. foreign policy on South Africa, directing campaigns in corporate boardrooms, universities, embassies, and finally in Congress itself, where a stunning victory was won against the formidable opposition of President Ronald Reagan. African-Americans altered U.S. foreign policy for the first time in history, and the United States — once the backbone of support for apartheid South Africa as its ally in the Cold War — finally imposed sanctions on Pretoria. European sanctions followed, and with them, the political isolation of the apartheid regime.

Combined together, the stories in this series have a scope that is epic in both space and time, spanning most of the globe over half a century. But in stand-alone viewings, each film offers a powerful experience of historical importance, not least due to Field's decision to interview people who were involved in either fighting or upholding apartheid, rather than academics or historians.

FROM SELMA TO SOWETO was originally released as an independent feature film in 2006, when it received Best Feature Documentary Awards from both the Canadian Film Board and the Pan African Film Festival.

Connie Field is an award-winning producer and director whose work has garned multiple awards and nominations including the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, the John O'Connor Award, the Gold Hugo, and several Academy Award nominations, among others. Her films include Freedom on My Mind, Forever Activists, and The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter.

For more information about the film and the series, visit Clarity Films.

Baso Sangqu, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, presented his credentials to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 16 March 2009.

Prior to his appointment as Permanent Representative, Mr. Baso Sangqu joined the South African Mission to the United Nations in December 2006 as Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to reinforce the delegation during South Africa's tenure as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, focusing on African issues on the Security Council Agenda and strengthening the AU-UN relationship.

Immediately before that, Mr. Sangqu served as South Africa's Permanent Representative to the African Union from November 2002 to December 2006 and also represented South Africa during its membership to the African Union Peace and Security Council. During the same period, he was also Ambassador to Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti and was Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

While working as Acting Chief Director for Economic Development, Multilateral Development and Cooperation in the Department of Foreign Affairs between October 2001 and 2002, Mr. Sangqu also served as Head of the Substance Unit for the (Johannesburg) World Summit on Sustainable Development from February 2001 to 2002.

Ambassador Sangqu joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in October 2000 as Director for Social and Economic Programmes, African Multilateral Development.

His previous Government service included appointments as Economic Policy Analyst and Research Consultant in the Presidency in 2000 and as Chief Education Specialist in the National Department of Education from January 1996 to May 1998.

Prior to the first democratic elections in South Africa in 1994, Ambassador Sangqu worked as Regional Coordinator and Secretary for the National Youth Development Forum and National Education Coordinating Committee respectively, in the Transkei region of South Africa.

He was a student and youth activist in South Africa during the struggle against apartheid, and joined the liberation movement in his early youth. While studying Civil Engineering at the University of Natal in 1986, Mr. Sangqu was arrested and detained for over six (6) months for his activities in the struggle.

Mr. Sangqu was awarded the honour of Mandela Economic Scholar in 1998 to further his studies abroad. He holds a Master's degree in Development Economics from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee as well as a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Transkei.

Jennifer Davis, born in South Africa, became an active opponent of apartheid while at the University of the Witwatersrand where she studied Economics and began her continuing research, writing and teaching on the core connections underlying political policies, national and international and economic structures. She was an active participant in liberatory organizing, and left South Africa in 1966, with her family, under threat of possible house arrest. In 1967 she began work at the American Committee on Africa/The Africa Fund and was appointed Executive Director in 1981. Under her leadership, ACOA played a central role developing the arguments and assisting the organizing of the alliances which enabled a national U.S. campaign involving activists in many communities, from churches, universities, labor unions, states and cities to cut the flow of U.S. dollars supporting the S.A. regime by winning billions of dollars of divestment from U.S. companies investing in apartheid South Africa and ultimately achieving comprehensive Congressional sanctions.

Davis wrote extensively on U.S.-Africa political and economic relations, testified frequently before Congressional and Senate committees, the United Nations and elsewhere on the negative impact of U.S. corporate investment in South Africa also speaking widely on issues ranging from U.S. military support for Portuguese colonialism to the dangerous U.S. policy of providing support (overt and covert) to South African sponsored insurgencies against the newly independent governments of Angola and Mozambique post 1985.

Traveling in Africa she maintained close connections with a broad range of leaders, organizations and individuals — and saw many "transformed" from political prisoners to internationally recognized political leaders like Nelson Mandela and Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu. Since leaving ACOA in March 2000 she continues to follow African development closely, consults on international issues and currently serves on the boards (inter alia) of Shared Interest, Thembani International Guarantee Fund (TIGF) and the Association of Concerned African Scholars and the Advisory Committee of the African Activist Archive Project of the African Studies Center at Michigan State University.

From reviews for Have You Heard From Johannesburg

"Absolutely superb. As one of the leaders of the Free South Africa Movement, I can vouch for the fact that the filmmakers got the story just right."
Roger Wilkins, George Mason University

"Very moving and effective...This story is especially important now, as a younger generation committed to social justice needs to see that we can win even against what seem to be overwhelming odds."
Adolph Reed, University of Pennsylvania

"It is good to be reminded that not so long ago U.S. citizens, led by a savvy group of African American congressional and activist leaders, made a huge contribution to the spread of international democracy. It's at once a heart-racing story... and an object lesson in successful activist campaigns." San Francisco Chronicle

"This film is a captivating slice of one of the most important historical moments of the 20th Century. It contains a vital lesson and a clarion call for future generations that may be confronted with the challenge of human rights abuses at home and abroad — collective, concerted action does make a difference." NPR

"Exemplary... A triumph of maximalist filmmaking. And you won't look at your watch once. Field's nonfiction epic is a monumental chronicle not just of one nation and its hideous regime, but of the second half of the 20th century." Village Voice

"Well worth the commitment. This is a clear-eyed, fast-moving portrait... Every part could stand on its own, yet the doc's real impact is cumulative." Time Out New York

"The complete series [is] sure to stand as an important educational... and historical record." Variety

Have You Heard From Johannesburg — Resources

Bringing the Anti-Apartheid Movement to Life:
An Interview with Connie Field


UNA MEMBERS: $10 (in advance OR at the door)
Only UNA Members have the option of guaranteeing their seats by making reservations in advance (and paying at the door) OR, if they wish, by purchasing advance tickets

NON-MEMBERS : $15 (in advance OR at the door)
All non-members must purchase their tickets in advance to guarantee their seats OR join for a $25 introductory membership and attend for free
(or at Members' prices for special events)

STUDENTS: Free Admission
Please present I.D. at the door when attending

NOTE: Only Members have guaranteed seating to all our events, and attend for free or pay the discounted Members' admission. Non-Members must purchase tickets in advance to guarantee their seats. While we do offer a pay-at-the-door policy for guests and non-members, our events are often sold-out, so we strongly encourage membership with UNA-NY to guarantee your seats!

UNA-NY is grateful for the generosity of the Tribeca Grand Hotel, for allowing our organization the consistent booking of their state of the art screening room for our film-talk series, Screening the Issues.

Nearest subway stations to access the Tribeca Grand Hotel area:
Canal Street station: A, E, C trains
Franklin Street station: No. 1 train

Also close, but requires a little walk:
Canal Street Station station: N, Q, R, W trains

View the Tribeca Grand Hotel neighborhood map and more directions