mind shattering experience for colleges, universities, high schools, organizations
Shown in 311 American colleges
for packed audiences.
Student activities often spend
thousands of dollars to bring famous speakers to campus - only to find
50-100 students show up....
......American Pictures is
known for standing room only crowds. Even at the tenth show at Harvard
700 were present. At the third show in U.C. Davis 2000 came. Students
who miss it often drive hundreds of miles to see it on other campuses.
No program today
depicts so visually
and "with so lasting impact" the worsening minority
crisis of America.
The show reveals
the psychological costs of racism on both the black and the white mind.
Yet it is not only a "show" about the victims of racism, but
also an experiment in oppression.
The technique of
the show is to incessantly bombard the audience with a one-sided view
from the position of the black underclass, a view in sharp contrast to
the Horato Alger myth.
There is no opportunity
for rationalization or justification. A form of oppression ensues which
gradually breaks down the defenses of the audience. It effectively creates
a momentary role reversal letting the astonished students actually experience
the emotions black people often suffer in everyday white society. This
opens the way for whites to begin to identify with and understand black
The welfare state.....or
the lack of it
An important thrust both in
the show and discussion groups concerns institutionalized poverty, fear
and insecurity. As an outsider having grown up in a European welfare state
Jacob Holdt challenges established American thought patterns by demonstrating
the enormous financial and human costs of life without cradle-to-grave
Despite the fact that the
countries with the greatest economic equality - such as Denmark, Sweden
and Japan - have achieved the highest growth rates during this entire
century, American thinking is permeated with notions of the capitalist
welfare state "destroying people's incentive," giving "hand
outs from above" or even leading to suicide.
In the search for solutions
it is vital that students at least are informed about alternatives. Also
business, medical and law schools have consequently found it important
to challenge their students with the show.