Sunday, March 29, 2009

Janice Rice on "Picturing Indians...." ; Scott Smith and John Fromstein on the WI Film fest-featured "Being Bucky"; Noam Chomsky series preview

On the March 29 show:

Listen to Archived Show

* Guest Janice Rice tells us about the book, the book, Picturing Indians: Photographic Encounters and Tourist Fantasies in H. H. Bennett’s Wisconsin Dells, and an upcoming panel discussion this Wednesday April 1 at 7:00 pm in Room L 160 of the UW-Madison's Chazen Museum of Art. Janice Rice is a longtime UW-Madison librarian, who works out of the main undergraduate library, Helen C. White. She is also a leader in the Ho-Chunk nation, and a frequent spokesperson, in addition to her work with numerous civil rights and social justice-related groups, locally, statewide, and nationwide.

Editor's note: Just a few days following this broadcast, Janice Rice received recognition as the University of Wisconsin System's "Woman of Color of the Year."

* Scott Smith (director) and John Fromstein (producer) of BEING BUCKY, a locally made film about the kids who are the Bucky mascot. The film contains lots of local flavor and a good broad appeal. In fact, the film sold out in about six seconds after tickets went on sale. For more information on the Wisconsin Film Festival, April 2-5, please go to this link.


* Note that "Madcity Chickens" (see blog post below from a month ago) has now been released on DVD! Congratulations, Tashai and Robert. For more information, go to the Tarazod Films webpage.

Another exciting series of events beginning next Sunday centers around the Tuesday April 7th appearance of Noam Chomsky:

On Sunday, April 5, Dr. Rita Giacaman (pronounced "Jackaman") of Bir Zeit University in Ramallah, Palestine, will speak on "Health Conditions and Medical Services Under Seige: 2006-2009". This is the first event in the spring speaker series "Israel-Palestine from Bush to Obama: Health, Human Rights and Foreign Policy" sponsored by the UW Middle East Studies Department and numerous others. This is from 1:30 - 3:30 pm at First Unitarian Society of Madison, 900 University Bay Drive. Free and open to the public. For more information call 265-6583 or visit

Rita Giacaman is the wife of Mustafa Barghouthi, independent member of the Palestinian parliament and independent candidate for President in the last elections. She is a public health expert and will detail the catastrophic effects of the occupation on the health and well-being of average Palestinians, which has just been meticulously documented by the prestigious British Medical journal The Lancet in their March issue. This is the same journal that used modern epidemiological methods to come up with the estimate of hundreds of thousands of extra civilian deaths in Iraq as a result of the U.S. war and occupation...the Palestine study has been even more controversial than the Iraq study, with much hysterical criticism and attempts to suppress the results. (This will be the topic of the panel discussion on Monday night)

Announcements for Sunday, April 5:

On Monday, April 6 at 3:30 pm, Dr. Graham Watt of the University of Glasgow, Scotland will speak on "Human Rights, Dignity and Medical Aid for Palestine". This is part of the spring speaker series "Israel-Palestine from Bush to Obama: Health, Human Rights and Foreign Policy" sponsored by the UW Middle East Studies Department and numerous others. This will be in Room 206, Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive on the UW-Madison campus. Free and open to the public. For more information call 265-6583 or visit

On Monday, April 6 at 7:30 pm there will be a panel discussion titled “‘Balance’ and Intimidation: Silencing Debate on Palestine – the20Lancet, March 2009 & other case studies” featuring Noam Chomsky, Dr. Graham Watt and Rita Giacaman (pronounced Jackaman). This is part of the spring speaker series "Israel-Palestine from Bush to Obama: Health, Human Rights and Foreign Policy" sponsored by the UW Middle East Studies Department and numerious others. This will be in Anderson Auditorium at Edgewood College, 1000 Edgewood College Drive, Madison. Free and open to the public. For more information call 265-6583 or visit

On Tuesday, April 7 at 7:30 pm Noam Chomsky will deliver a lecture on the role of US Foreign Policy, Israeli Security and Human Rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This will be at the Orpheum Theater, 216 State Street. Tickets are available at the Orpheum, Rainbow Bookstore, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice and Lakeside Printing Co-op. This is the final event in the spring speaker series "Israel-Palestine from Bush to Obama: Health, Human Rights and Foreign Policy" sponsored by the UW Middle East Studies Department and numerous others. For more information call 265-6583 or visit

WI Film Fest Preview with Meg Hamel; "Parents, Children and Consumer Culture" with author Allison Pugh

On the March 22, 2009 show:

Listen to archived show

* Meg Hamel, executive director of the Wisconsin Film Festival, previews this fun and exciting April 2-5 annual event turned Madison institution

* Allison Pugh, discusses her book, Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer Culture

Allison Pugh is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, which she joined in January 2007 after completing her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests coalesce around the question of how social inequality shapes cultures of care, including the meanings, processes and experiences of care in families and communities. Her book Longing and Belonging: Parents, Children, and Consumer Culture is due out in Spring 2009 from the University of California Press. Based on her dissertation, the project seeks to make sense of explosive spending on children in recent decades. Relying on three years of ethnographic research in three communities in Oakland, California, Professor Pugh found that children negotiate with their peers which commodities hav e the power to confer “dignity,” or social belonging. She documented that affluent and low-income parents alike engage in symbolic buying to reconcile their conflicting feelings, ideals and consumer reach.

In April 2008, Professor Pugh was awarded a Work-Family Career Development Grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, as one of five awardees selected nationally from across the social sciences. The grant funds an ongoing research project entitled “Why Care? The Effects of Caring on Caregivers,” an investigation of how and when caregiving leads to pro-social behavior in men and women. In addition, Pugh is conducting research into children’s active participation in their own neighborhoods, and the factors that constrain or enable children’s ability to forge “webs of reciprocity.” Professor Pugh teaches courses on care, childhood, family, culture and qualitative methods.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Filmmakers Doug Gordon and Ben Wydeven on their creation "The Zombeatles," and the phenomenon of Madison-based indie films; Dennis Graham on Launchpad

On the March 15, 2009 edition:

Doug Gordon and Ben Wydeven join us to discuss their new Madison-based film, The Zombeatles: All You Need Is Brains. The film had its Madison debut in January, and is soon to be released nationally on DVD.

Listen to archived show

Dennis Graham with Launchpad joins us at the top of the hour to tell us about an upcoming high school band competition at Waunakee High School. Launchpad is a statewide, alternative music competition for Wisconsin high school students who are in bands formed outside of the traditional music classroom ensembles. Launchpad and other Wisconsin School Music Association (WSMA) programs help young people discover and expand their full music potential. The program raises money for Wisconsin schools and the winners get a gig at Summerfest, record a CD and a Les Paul guitar. See .

We'll also be reviewing Friday night's premier of the Broom St. Theater production of "the birds that are my hands.... how to start a fire under siege," a powerful multi-media play that evokes the daily realities of people living in the shadows of the walls that divide both Palestine and the US-Mexican border. The play continues on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm, and Sunday matinees at 2pm. To augment your appreciation of the play, be sure to listen to Forward Forum's exclusive Jan. 4th interview with playwright/director Sol Thea Kelley-Jones and activist/Palestine traveling companion Nathan Beck.

And then we'll open the phones to our weekly review of the developments in the news. Throughout it all, we ask for your participation by calling us at 608.321.1670.


***more about
filmmakers Doug Gordon and Ben Wydeven their new film, The Zombeatles: All You Need Is Brains***

We asked Doug Gordon
what makes this film different from other zombie movies. To which he replied: "This film takes zombies into a whole new direction by developing the idea of a "zomniverse" -- all zombies, all the time. Zombies started by eating the stupid people first since they're the easiest to catch. Then zombies had to track down smarter people for food. This "Smart People Diet" helped zombies evolve in a Darwinian fashion to the point that they've become intelligent, conscious creatures. They've taken over the world and now have their own arts, entertainment and popular culture scene which includes such acts as The Zombeatles and Angus MacAbre."

Ben's You Tube trailer for the film can be found here:

or through this link: .

also this

insight-filled article by Kristian Knutson of Isthmus's, The Daily Page.

Ben's also made a very cool short horror film called THE MEDIUM... Ben and Doug met during the filming of The Medium.

Doug's day job is as a producer for the nationally-syndicated show, To The Best of Our Knowledge. He originally moved to Madison from his native Canada to help produce What Do You Know? with Michael Feldman. And look for the future airing of an interview the pair recently conducted for
Wisconsin Public Television's DIRECTOR'S CUT with host Charles Monroe-Kane (also a What Do You Know? producer), coming soon.

One last "small world Madison connection" -- nationally-renowned Madison band The Gomers has a distinct overlap with the music and performances of the Zombeatles.

Below: This slightly retouched version of a majorly-retouched version of the now discredited aerial photo of a 150 foot long Borneo river monster is not only a hoax, but it has absolutely nothing to do with this week's show. Co-host Stephanie Woods, however--whose presence here goes unexplained--remains eternally enigmatic, and she wouldn't want it any other way.

Potpourri Edition: Harry Waisbren Returns, WYOU and Cable Access TV, Premiere of groundbreaking Broom St. play "the birds that are my hands"

On the March 8, 2009 edition of Forward Forum:

Listen to Archived Version of Show Here

Former co-host Harry Waisbren (host of WYOU-TV's MadProgress TV and blogger) joins us to discuss recent developments in efforts to build bridges between campus and community organizers. Just back from the "I Am Progress" conference in Washington, DC, Harry delivers some hopeful messages about the future of progressive organizing, including new collaborative efforts being spearheaded locally by WisPirg (The Wisconsin Publie Interest Research Group). (Harry is pictured above with his predecessor in leading UW efforts connected with Campus Progress, Mitra Jalali.)

Barbara Bolan, of WYOU-TV Cable Access in Madison, updates us on the station's new live stream and its recent highly-successful on-air fundraising drive.

Then local playwright/director/activist Sol Thea Kelley-Jones joins us for a preview of her play, "the birds that are your hands: how to start a fire under siege," which begins a six week run at Broom St. Theater on Friday, March 13th.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Filmmakers Tashai Livington and Robert Lughai on their film "Mad City Chickens," soon to be released worldwide on DVD

On the March 1, 2009 Forward Forum:

Click to Hear Archived Version of this Show

As Madison-based filmmakers Tashai Livington and Robert Lughai describe it, "Mad City Chickens is a sometimes wacky, sometimes serious look at the people who keep urban chickens in their backyards. From chicken experts and authors to a rescued landfill hen or an inexperienced family that decides to take the poultry plunge—and even a mad scientist and giant hen taking to the streets—it’s a humorous and heartfelt trip through the world of backyard chickendom." (Photo credit: still from last year's appearance on WI Public TV's show, "Director's Cut," with Charles Monroe-Kane.)

Tashai has a degree in Film, Photography, and Electronic Media from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Conversely, Robert’s degree is in Psychology, but since childhood, they both have been drawn to good stories and the art of storytelling. Whether the medium be in book form, still images or moving pictures, any project worth doing must have at its core a solid story idea, they say. With advances in digital photography and video technology and the supporting software, telling story through films has become nothing less than blissful for them.

They describe the journey they've taken in a recent interview for See also the review of the film's debut last year at the Wisconsin Film Festival.

"We first learned of the backyard chicken movement in Madison. It was still illegal to have the birds within city limits, but the Isthmus newspaper did an article on what was then referred to as the 'Chicken Underground,' people who broke the law by hiding chickens in their garages and backyards. We attempted to get some names and numbers, but the Isthmus wouldn't give 'em out.

"A year went by and a group of poultry supporters going by the name 'Mad City Chickens' was formed. When the laws were changed allowing four hens (but no roosters) per single family residence, the group's founding members started holding urban chicken 101 classes.

"We met Alicia Rheal and Bryan Whiting through one of these classes and began the interviews with them. They in turn connected us with a number of other Madison chicken owners. It just grew from there to include more chicken folk, artists, breeders, and experts from around the country."

Since "Mad City Chickens" debuted in April 2008 at last year's Wisconsin Film Festival, it has met with critical acclaim at other festivals across North America, and will have its DVD debut in mid to late March 2009. For more information, go to the website of Tarazod films.

Above: the film-makers have great fun with occasional departures from traditional documentary form, including their non-linear narrative style, and a fun-filled "Attack of the Giant Chicken" foray into a fun 1950s style "horror" spoof.

Seen at extreme lower left in the second photo above is Forward Forum co-host Stephanie Woods in a memorable cameo appearance as a "startled sidewalk bystander." Stephanie also provided technical assistance as a grip on the film, and as a still photographer for the production.