Fairfield University screening of 'In Our Care' - a documentary about 'invisible women' in America, - to feature filmmaker and nanny discussing film
Throughout the United States, especially in the country's affluent confines, there are 'invisible women' caring for other people's children, a job requiring great personal sacrifice and demanding unconditional love all in a day's work.
On Thursday, October 21 at 8 p.m., Fairfield University will host a free screening of "In Our Care," a documentary by Selena Rhine. The film sheds light on the lives of Latino and Caribbean nannies and what it means to them to be a part of America's undervalued and unregulated workforce. Open to the public, the event will take place in the Quick Center for the Arts, on the Fairfield campus.
The film came about after Rhine moved to New York City to pursue film studies at The New School, and became acutely aware of the overwhelming number of Latina and Caribbean nannies taking care of Caucasian children.
For Rhine, the situation raised issues of race and class in the U.S., cultural and immigration issues, since this workforce seems to be mostly immigrants, as well as the question of how being a caregiver is not particularly valued by the mainstream. "But most of all, it struck me that women who care for other people's children must have children of their own, and where are they and who's taking care of them?" said Rhine, who will be joined on her visit to campus by one of the nannies featured in the film. "What is the price to one's own family to develop a close and intimate relationship with other children?"
Laurence Miners, Ph.D., professor of economics and co-founder of the Center for Academic Excellence at Fairfield, is the event's organizer. "I saw her film and said, 'Global Citizenship,' " Dr. Miners said. "I knew she just had to come to Fairfield."
The event is part of the University's Year of Global Citizenship focus, a time for students, staff and faculty to consider the world outside the college gates and how they fit in it and can make it a better place. The theme of Global Citizenship fits the film perfectly. "Some people have asked what my 'personal' relationship is to the theme of domestic workers, asking if I grew up with a nanny," said Rhine. "My response is that it is all of our responsibility to consider how common themes like race, class, labor, immigration take form and play out in our streets, homes, and communities. These dynamics are personal to all of us, have real effects, and take different forms in all our lives, whether we are aware of it or not."
After the screening, Rhine will briefly discuss her work and entertain questions. She earned a B.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, an affiliation of Tufts University, and a master's certificate in Documentary Studies from The New School in New York City. Her background includes working for Witness: Video Advocacy Institute, a program that trains human rights defenders across the globe to integrate video advocacy into their work. While at Fairfield, Rhine will visit Professor Will's Family Communication class (CO 246), Professor Campos's Spanish American Civilization class (SP 253), and Professor White's Race, Gender, and Ethnic Relations class (SO 162).
This is an FYE event and a card swipe machine will be available to students. Rhine's visit and the screening are co-sponsored by the Center for Faith and Public Life, the Ignatian Residential College, Student Affairs, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Women's Studies, the Department of Economics, Black Studies and the Division of Marketing and Communications.
For more information, please call Dr. Miners at (203) 254-4000, ext. 2868.
For info about Fairfield, visit www.fairfield.edu.
Image: A scene from the documentary, 'In Our Care.'
Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted on October 4, 2010
Vol. 43, No. 67