John B. Hurford '60 Center for the Arts and Humanities


Haverford College, Bryn Mawr Film Institute
Spring 2018

Strange Truth 2018

Strange Truth 2018 explores the non-fiction imagination in the film and performance work of mediamakers Pamela Z, Theo Anthony, and Sabaah Folayan.

Using diverse technical and formal means, these artists engage with the intimate connections between memory, language, and gesture; the struggles over urban space and history; and the power of resistance.

All events to be held at Bryn Mawr Film Institute or Haverford College’s VCAM facility. Each will be followed by conversations with the artists.

Organized by Vicky Funari and John Muse, Visual Media Scholars at the Hurford Center for the Arts and Humanities. Made possible by the John B. Hurford ’60 Center for the Arts and Humanities, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, the Leaves of Grass Visiting Artist Program, the House Fund for Distinguished Visiting Artists and Critics, and the Visual Studies Program at Haverford College.

All events are open to the public.
Screenings at Bryn Mawr Film Institute are free for all Tri-Co students, staff, and faculty.
Events at Haverford College are free to all.

  Contact: hcah [at]

Bryn Mawr Film Institute

  Blue Bus transportation provided from Stokes Hall (Haverford) to all screenings at Bryn Mawr Film Institute (BMFI), departing Haverford at 6:40 p.m. and leaving BMFI for Stokes at 9:30 p.m.


Young white rats intertwined in a sleeping mound

Rat Film, 2017, 1h 22m
Theo Anthony

Due to inclement weather, the March 21 Strange Truth screening of RAT FILM at Bryn Mawr Film Institute has been cancelled. The screening will be rescheduled for Fall 2018 (date to be determined).

Across walls, fences, and alleys, rats not only expose our boundaries of separation but make homes in them. Rat Film is a feature-length documentary that uses the rat—as well as the humans that love them, live with them, and kill them—to explore the history of Baltimore. "There's never been a rat problem in Baltimore, it's always been a people problem."

A conversation with filmmaker Theo Anthony will follow the film.

“A brilliantly imaginative and formally experimental essay on how Baltimore has dealt with its rat problem and manipulated its black population… the histories of poisons, eugenics, home-loan guidelines and forensic science coalesce like iron filings around a magnet.” –New York Times

Pamela Z performing behind a laptop and microphones

Pamela Z performing at Ars Electronica 2008 in Linz, Austria. Photo: rubra (courtesy of Ars Electronica)

Parts of Speech / Parts of the Body with Pamela Z

Parts of Speech / Parts of the Body
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
8:00 p.m.
VCAM 201 Object Study/Media Production Classroom, Haverford College

Pamela Z will perform a program consisting of short solo works for voice, real-time electronic processing, sampled sounds, wireless gesture controllers, and interactive video. The evening will include some standalone works from her concert repertoire as well as excerpts from larger, more theatrical, performance works.

Artist’s Talk
Thursday, March 29, 2018
4:30 p.m.
VCAM Screening Room, Haverford College

Utilizing audio and video examples as well as some live performance demonstration, Pamela Z will discuss her work and her process. Through examples of sound works, large-scale performance works, chamber works, and media installations, she will shed light on the roles that speech sounds and gesture-controlled instruments play in her practice, and share details of her use of recorded interviews and the ways in which the language culled from them injects fragments of narrative into her work. She will address the increasingly blurred lines between disciplines and demonstrate her use of voice with live processing, gesture-based MIDI controllers, and moving image.

“With her plangent, well-trained voice and techno-theatrical savvy, this San Francisco singer and performance artist has firmly established herself as the Left Coast Meredith Monk.” —New Yorker

A young girl with a bullhorn at a Black Lives Matter event

Whose Streets?, 2017, 1h 40m
Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis

Wednesday, April 4, 2018
7:00 pm
Bryn Mawr Film Institute

Told by the activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising. When unarmed teenager Michael Brown is killed by police and left lying in the street for hours, it marks a breaking point for the residents of St. Louis, Missouri. Grief, long-standing racial tensions and renewed anger bring residents together to hold vigil and protest this latest tragedy. Empowered parents, artists, and teachers from around the country come together as freedom fighters. As the national guard descends on Ferguson with military grade weaponry, these young community members become the torchbearers of a new resistance. Filmmakers Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis know this story because they have lived the story. Whose Streets? is a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for the right to live.

A conversation with filmmaker Sabaah Folayan will follow the film.

“Outstanding and incendiary… does a tremendous end run around mainstream news outlets and the agenda-driven narratives that emerge, particularly on television.” —The Guardian

“A vibrant firsthand portrait of the Ferguson uprising and the origins of the Black Lives Matter movement… Raw and unadorned, ‘Whose Streets?’ is a documentary in the truest sense of the word; an actual moving document of events fresh in the country’s memory, but never before laid as bare as they are here.” —Indiewire


Theo Anthony headshot

Theo Anthony

Theo Anthony (b. 1989) is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker currently based in Baltimore, MD. His work been featured by the The Atlantic, Vice, Agence-France Presse (AFP), and other international media outlets. His films have received premieres at the Toronto International Film Festival, Locarno International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and Anthology Film Archives. In 2015, he was named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.”

Sabaah Folayan headshot

Sabaah Folayan

Sabaah Folayan is an activist and storyteller born and raised in South Central LA. As an advocate at Rikers Island, Folayan interviewed incarcerated people about their experiences with trauma. She later helped organize The Millions March, one of the largest marches for racial justice in New York history, in response to the non-indictment of the police officer who choked Eric Garner to death. Folayan entered the world of storytelling through theater, attending the Lee Strasberg Institute of Theatre and Film as a teenager, and performing as a member of the Black Theater Ensemble while a pre-med student at Columbia University. In September 2014, she went to Ferguson with cinematographer Lucas Alvarado-Farrar to learn the truth behind the dramatic scenes playing out on the news. Hearing the stories from the community inspired her to embark on her directorial debut Whose Streets?, landing her a coveted spot on Filmmaker Magazine’s annual “25 New Faces of Independent Film” along with Co-Director Damon Davis. Folayan recently directed an episode of Glamour Magazine + The Girl Project’s Get Schooled web series presented by Maybelline. She is a 2015 Firelight Media Producers Lab Fellow, 2016 Chicken & Egg Accelerator Lab Fellow, and 2016 Sundance Institute Documentary Edit and Story Lab Fellow.

Pamela Z Headshot

Photo Credit: Lori Eanes

Pamela Z

Pamela Z is a composer/performer and media artist who makes solo works combining a wide range of vocal techniques with electronic processing, samples, gesture activated MIDI controllers, and video. She has toured extensively throughout the US, Europe, and Japan. Her work has been presented at venues and exhibitions including Bang on a Can (NY), the Japan Interlink Festival, Other Minds (SF), the Venice Biennale, and the Dakar Biennale. She has created installations and composed scores for dance, film, and chamber ensembles (including Kronos Quartet). Her awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Doris Duke Artist Impact Award, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residency, the Herb Alpert Award, an Ars Electronica honorable mention, and the NEA/Japan-US Fellowship.


Vicky Funari

Vicky Funari

Vicky Funari is a documentary filmmaker, editor, and teacher. Her films include the feature documentaries MAQUILÁPOLIS (2006), Paulina (1998), and Live Nude Girls Unite! (2000). These award-winning, critically acclaimed films have screened in many of the world's most respected film festivals, including Sundance, Locarno, Havana, Rotterdam, SXSW, and Tribeca, and have aired nationally on public and cable television. From 2006-2009, Funari directed the MAQUILÁPOLIS binational Community Campaign, working with activist organizations and factory workers to promote public dialogue and social change. She is a Creative Capital grantee, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a Guggenheim Fellow. She has been teaching at Haverford College since 2009. Her current documentary, now in post-production, tells a story of healthy aging, community, and ladies in a pool.

John Muse

John Muse

John Muse is Visual Media Scholar at Haverford College. His most recent projects include conference papers on Roland Barthes, Alvin Lucier, Roni Horn, Omer Fast, and Ruben Pater on the topics of object oriented aesthetics, drone culture, and reenactment. In September of 2017, he and longtime collaborator Jeanne C. Finley screened their new experimental film Book Report at the Aesthetica Short Film Festival. He occasionally collaborates with theater maker Mason Rosenthal and continues to document small cairns built at the corner of Ardmore and Lancaster Avenues in Ardmore PA and elsewhere.