Dr. Edward Mamary Leads Photovoice Project

Dr. Edward Mamary, a Health Science and Recreation professor, was recently a Principal Investigator on a project entitled “Living in an Unfinished America: Shared Experiences of Discrimination and Resilience by Arab, Muslim & Sikh Americans.” Spurred by a series of anti-Arab and anti -Muslim advertisements placed on San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency vehicles (and upheld in other jurisdictions as legal under the First Amendment), the project was sponsored by the City and County of San Francisco Human Rights Commission, with support from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

The project used a participatory action research methodology called “Photovoice,” to explore the lived experience of those coping with Islamophobia and anti-Arab prejudice. The Arab American, Muslim, and Sikh participants came from a wide range of backgrounds in terms of age, race/ethnicity, religion, and language. Using photography and narrative, participants shared their experiences with prejudice and discrimination. They also revealed how they met these challenges with resilience, cultural pride, and self-determination.

Defending My Son

Using photography and narrative, a Palestinian American women shares her experience with prejudice and discrimination with a picture of her son.

A Palestinian American woman used Photovoice to share her experience with prejudice and discrimination with a picture of her son.

This is my son. His name was Osama. I chose a picture of his school to show with his picture. After 9/11, many people at his school (students, teachers, and staff) tormented him. One teacher in particular continually called him Osama Bin Laden. He had nothing to do with his name and we had nothing to do with what happened on 9/11. They made it like it was his fault. He was 20 years old when he got shot. They said it was mistaken identity, but he got shot because he’s a Middle Easterner, because he had Arabic writing on his car. And they tried to make it seem like he just was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Every time I pass that school, I wish I could see if someone needs help or is being discriminated against. I would want them to know that nothing is wrong with them. I joined this project because of my son. He is not alive to defend himself. I raised my kids to defend themselves. I was raised to stand up for what I believe in and for my religion—how to behave, how to act, how to respect, how to love.

—Fayza, Palestinian American Muslim woman

Tying Turbans

A Sikh American man uses photovoice to describe how he overcame discrimination with the help of his parents and wearing his turban proudly.

A Sikh American man used photovoice to describe how he overcame discrimination with the help of his parents and wearing his turban proudly.

Here is an older Sikh man tying a turban on one of my good friends. This captures a very special moment from our culture, when a Sikh dad or father-like figure ties a turban on his son or daughter. It is like slowly tying valuable cultural ideals into each and every fold of the fabric. It helps the younger generation understand who they are and helps them define their identity. This photo reminded me of the time my dad tied a turban on me as a teen. I didn’t like it, especially because I got called racist slurs at school. After that experience, I went on to eighth grade and cut my hair. I didn’t feel good about myself. My parents would tell me stories of how the Sikh Gurus sacrificed their whole families so Sikhs can wear their turbans like crowns and practice their faith proudly and fearlessly. In eleventh grade, I started growing my hair again and started tying a turban. I feel connected to my roots now and every layer of my turban helps me stand tall in a crowd, proud to be a Sikh.

—Harkanwar, Sikh American man

The photos and narratives were exhibited at public events at the San Francisco City Hall Rotunda in April 2015, and at the Women’s Building in August 2015, providing an opportunity for dialogue with policy members, educators, health care providers, and the community at large.

Poster for the exhibition of photovoice held on August 12, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

Poster for the exhibition of Photovoice held on August 12, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

Community partners on the project included the Asian Law Caucus, the Council on American Islamic Relations, the Arab Cultural and Community Center, the Islamic Network Group, the Sikh Coalition, the San Francisco Department of Public Health, and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. A second Photovoice project on anti-semitism is underway, with the first exhibit to debut in early spring. Along with Dr. Lynne Andonian, an Occupational Therapy associate professor, Dr. Mamary will be presenting a workshop session on Photovoice at the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ Center for Applied Research on Human Services (CARHS) Brown Bag event in spring 2016.

JMC’s Guerrazzi takes Award of Excellence for ‘Opening Oman’ documentary

Diane Guerrazzi, a broadcast journalism professor at San Jose State University in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts’ School of Journalism and Mass Communications, has received the Mixed Video Award of Excellence from the Broadcast Education Association in the faculty category.

Diane Guerrazzi, a JMC professor, poses for a photo with students on a study abroad program to Oman in winter 2013.

Diane Guerrazzi, a JMC professor, poses for a photo with students on a study abroad program to Oman in winter 2013.

Guerrazzi and Hannah Gaber’s short documentary, “Opening Oman,” was recognized along with 11 other pieces nationwide in the BEA 2015 Festival of Media Arts competition. Prizes will be awarded during the BEA’s annual convention and Festival of Media Arts in April in Las Vegas.

The 12-minute video can be viewed online.

In the video, Guerrazzi, sets up a narrative about the ways in which the Middle Eastern country that is bordered by Saudia Arabia, Yemn and United Arab Emirates is looking to open itself to international tourism.

A narrator describes some of the efforts that Oman’s government has taken in the last two decades to open its borders up to tourism, such as open a tourism college and creating a bacherlor’s in tourism. But the country is still focused on striking a balance of drawing in visitors without losing its traditions.

“In Oman, we have this kind of idea that we really want to develop tourism but not offer it too widely so we lose identify and core traditions – history itself,” said Hooda Albalushi, a tourism lecturer at Sultan Qaboos University, in one of the interviews in the video. “We want to try to open up to the outside world, but keep up traditions and whatever makes us unique.”

According to the video, Oman has seen less than 2 million visitors in any one year, while Dubai in neighboring United Arab Emirates has seen as many as 10 million in a year. But tourism faculty say the country is focused on bringing in quality tourists instead of a high quantity, as it is one of the most expensive tourist destinations in the world.

Guerrazzi started the work on the documentary during winter session in 2013, when she collaborated with a professor from the University of Arizona, Maggy Zanger, who had contacts in Oman to take students abroad.

“She (Zanger) suggested the tourism angle, since Oman is truly at a crossroads with its approach to the outside world,” Guerrazzi said, via email. “Some of our students were journalism majors, but others were studying political science, tourism and behavioral sciences so the tourism topic was interesting to all.”

The study abroad program included four students from SJSU, one from Gavilan Community College, one from CSU East Bay, three from University of Arizona, one from the University of Oregon, one from the University of Delaware and one from the University of Arkansas.

“Students helped shoot some video and conduct some interviews,” Guerrazzi said, noting that Gaber, a graduate student from Arizona was especially interested in helping with the project. “She transcribed some interviews and contributed ideas.”

Guerrazzi said she was the primary person to shoot the video as well as the person who wrote the narrative and edited the piece. She worked on it throughout spring and summer 2014, even working on it while she was on vacation in Japan.

“To develop the story with a dramatic art, I needed to mold the piece as I created it,” she said. “It’s much different than writing a regular news story.”

Guerrazzi, who is also the director of the SJSU Afghanistan Journalism Education Enhancement Program, said documentary is a new field for her as she has worked in short-form broadcast for daily news for 30 years.

“I am encouraged to try another documentary, perhaps with another faculty-led program,” she said. “This time, it would be great to scout out locations and characters ahead of time.”

Guerrazzi and Halima Kazem, a colleague in JMC, are offering a four-week faculty-led program this summer in Turkey in which students will learn what it is like to be an international journalist and navigate the world working on various multimedia news stories.

The course still has openings for interested students who will work in small teams to develop a short documentary, a photo essay, a travel blog or any other multimedia product by the end of the course. The students will visit Turkish media organizations and collaborate with Turkish university students on their projects. A multimedia bootcamp will be offered before students depart for Istanbul and faculty will work with students to develop their projects. This is a great opportunity to cover an international issue, generate portfolio clips and make contacts abroad.

The three-weeks trip will include visits to Turkish media organizations such as Today’s Zaman, CNN Turk, Daily Hurriyet and Daily Sabah; visits to journalism departments at two Turkish universities; a tour of Istanbul’s landmarks and world heritage sites; a lecture on Turkish cuisine and café culture; guided walking tours and more.

For more on Guerrazzi and Kazem’s program, visit the CASA International Experience Initiative website. 

JMC premieres ‘The Barbershop Diaries’ for Black History Month

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San José State University will premiere a documentary entitled “The Barbershop Diaries” on Feb. 8, from 3-5 p.m. in Morris Dailey Auditorium. Admission is free for the documentary screening; tickets may be reserved online at www.thebarbersinc.eventbrite.com.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications will premiere a documentary, 'The Barbershop Diaries,' on Feb. 8.

The School of Journalism and Mass Communications will premiere a documentary, ‘The Barbershop Diaries,’ on Feb. 8.

The documentary, created by College of Applied Sciences and Arts multimedia students and Professor D. Michael Cheers, focuses on the historic and powerful impact barbers and beauty salon owners have in communities. According to a press release, “For generations it’s the place where people from all cultures have gathered to learn about each other, life and the challenges we face together.”

“This is the last in a series of trilogy projects that examines how engaging and compelling visual storytelling impacts community,” Cheers said, in the release. “In 2010, we premiered ‘Soul Sanctuary,’ an in-depth look at the challenges facing the aging congregation and leadership at Antioch Baptist Church, the oldest African American Baptist Church in San Jose.”

In 2013, “Dream Fulfilled, Dream Deferred” was premiered with a look at urban violence through the eyes of two San José families affected by gun and gang violence.

“‘The Barbershop Diaries’ afforded me the opportunity to spend time inside the shop’s hallowed public space,” Cheers said, “peer into the diverse lives of these barbers, and share with the public their personal stories of triumph over adversity, naysayers, personal demons and the stumbling blocks and hurdles of life.”

Over two years, the film “explores the eclectic lives of 10 barbers who work at Barbers, Inc., a neighborhood barbershop in downtown San Jose.”

The press release describes the participants featured in the documentary: Two are former inmates, now seeking salvation, redemption and “a chance to make things right.” Others are a budding actor and screenwriter; a lesbian barber who juggles a domestic relationship and her mother’s stage four breast cancer; a promising model and singer; a tattooed, man‐child who was headed for “jail or the graveyard”; a “my faith comes first” Muslim, who struggles to find a quiet place to pray during work hours; an unassuming Ethiopian immigrant, who lost his security guard job, and used his jobless benefits to pay for barber college; and a young apprentice barber, still studying for his license, with two toddlers in tow.

As part of Black History Month, the School of Journalism and Mass Communications will also unveil an online portrait gallery showcasing photographs taken by photojournalism students of South Bay area African-American barbershop and beauty salon owners.

For more on the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, visit: http://www.jmc.sjsu.edu/

Former SJSU Prof Bob Gliner’s Doc, Schools That Change Communities, will be re-broadcast on PBS Station KCSM

by Staff

Bob Gliner’s latest documentary, Schools That Change Communities, will be re-broadcast on PBS Station KCSM (Comcast Channel 17) throughout the SF Bay Area, Tuesday, March 5th, 8:00pm and Sunday, March 17, 9:00pm,  as part of its nationwide broadcasts.

Produced by former San Jose State Sociology Professor Bob Gliner, this unique, engaging documentary turns the current focus of education on its head.   While most US schools keep their students bottled up in classrooms as a way of increasing test scores, this very upbeat special focuses on a diverse range of K-12 public schools in five states that instead break down the walls between the school and its neighborhood.  By viewing their communities as classrooms, students are not only invigorated, but also motivated to learn the basics and how to think critically and engage in solving problems they and the larger world they inhabit now face.

Gliner’s other education focused documentaries include Lessons From The Real World, and Democracy Left Behind both of which enjoyed long runs on PBS stations across the country.

For more about the documentary and to watch a trailer, visit Bob Gliner’s website: DocMakerOnline.com.

“From the Fields: An American Journey”

By:  Bob Rucker, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communications

One of our distinguished broadcast news graduates, Damian Trujillo at NBC 11, will be the focus of a new documentary called “From the Fields: An American Journey.” The video by Carolyn Brown is expected
to air on local TV stations the beginning of October. Several people from SJSU, including yours truly, are included in the special presentation.

Ms. Brown has asked if the JMC School would like to hold a special SJSU screening of the film. I’d like to do this, possibly in our Diversity and Lifestyles in the Media class later this fall. We will let everyone know.