ASNMU kicks off new virtual series “Widening Our Worlds”


Photo courtesy of ASNMU

Ayanna Allen

The Associated Students of Northern Michigan University will be showcasing their new series, “Widening Our Worlds” which entails a wide selection of films displaying culturally and globally different perspectives. The series began on Feb. 3 with the first feature film being “Thirteenth”.

According to the ASNMU home page, the organization aims to “represent and advocate for all Northern students to administration and across the state of Michigan, as well as provide programs for the student body.” There are hopes that the “Widening Our Worlds” program will help commit students to community building and advocacy work.

“Advocating is about centering and including marginalized perspectives in a larger community,” Emma Drever, president of ASNMU said. “Watching a movie and then discussing it will hopefully be an informal way to learn, to understand new ideas and to form opinions.” 

Currently, this series is completely student based with no guest speakers. It is encouraged that when students sign up that they feel free to contribute to the conversation with their own thoughts. Each presentation, however, is coordinated with faculty in similar fields that are presented in the films and researched to create meaningful discussions about the films. 

Films to expect in the “Widening Our Worlds” series include: 

-“Thirteenth”, which explores the history of racial inequality in the US. 

-“The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson”, a movie that reexamines the mysterious death of the transgender activist. 

-“Skin”, which explores colorism and Black Beauty. “Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony”, a documentary that highlights the importance of music during apartheid in South Africa. 

-“What the F* is Going On?”, a film that focuses on gender inequality and feminism in Spain.

-“Indian Horse”, which tells the story of a young Indigenous boy in Canada. 

-“Mereta: How Mum Decolonised the Screen”, the director explores his mother’s life as an activist and filmmaker in New Zealand. 

-“There’s Something in the Water”, another documentary that focuses on Nova Scotia’s access to clean water.

As part of the Primarily White Institution, Drever said that it is important for students to recognize that the demographics shown in the films and the stories heard are only a fraction of what exists in the world.

“On that note, we cannot safely travel to experience new cultures, so this series provides a space to engage with difference meaningfully and safely,” Drever said.

With movie theaters being closed due to the pandemic, the “Widening Our World” series offers an educational, yet entertaining way for students to get exposed to new perspectives all the while enjoying a movie. However, as it is a pilot series, it will only be taking place from Feb. 3 to March 24 as of right now. 

“The hope is that attendees can express their interests, or where they should learn more, so that future events can pick a movie that focuses more in-depth on certain concepts,” Drever said. 

These films will be hosted via Zoom and Netflix Teleparty. Register on the Hub to gain access to the link.