Film star, artists to discuss their work in library series

Apr 19, 2015 From staff reports

The subject of the documentary "Havana Curveball" will attend a screening of the film at Riverton Branch Library.

The Riverton Branch Library and Fort Washakie School Community Library have partnered to bring a two-part speakers series to the community.

The "Be the Change" project aims to share "inspiring stories that reflect the power of individuals to make a difference in the world," according to a press release.

Film and wiffle ball

The first event in the series is a screening of the documentary film "Havana Curveball," which opens with 13-year-old Mica Jarmel-Schneider studying for his bar mitzvah.

In the film, Jarmel-Schneider takes to heart his rabbi's requirement to help "heal the world," and he launches a plan to send baseballs to less fortunate kids in Latin America, and he decides to focus on Cuba.

Facing the obstacles the U.S. embargo throws in his way, he must decide how far to follow his dream. While researching, writing letters, imploring his senator, and meeting Cuban activists and an attorney, he begins to wonder if the enterprise is possible or worth the effort.

The film will be shown at 2 p.m. May 9 at the Riverton Branch Library, 1330 W. Park Ave. After the screening, Jarmel-Schneider, who is now 19, and his mother, Marcia, will be available to meet audience members and answer questions about the film.

Local police officers will distribute and sign baseballs, and then play a game of wiffle ball on the lawn. The public is welcome to participate, and refreshments will be served.

Photojournalism project

The second event in the series is a presentation on the "Red Road Project," a photojournalism effort that was started in 2012 by photographer Carlotta Cardana and writer Danielle SeeWalker.

They will speak at 7 p.m. May 11 at the Riverton Branch Library and at 2:15 p.m. May 12 in the auditorium at Wyoming Indian High School in Ethete.

The two said they teamed up in an effort to highlight the positive stories of American Indians.

"The 'Red Road Project' is a fresh and candid collection of photographs and stories exploring the relationship between Native American people and their identity today," SeeWalker stated in a press release. "Our partnership as a photographer and writer duo makes for a multi-dimensional and unique piece. Carlotta's photographs capture the story of what it means to be a Native American in the 21st century, while my direct connection to Indian Country gives this project an insider point of view."

Cardana is an Italian photographer living in London, and SeeWalker is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation who lives outside Philadelphia. The two met in 1998 in Nebraska while Cardana was a foreign exchange student.

After seeing too many stories about the poverty, crime, addiction and other negative aspects of American Indian culture, the two said they thought it was time to document the culture's beauty and strength.

Their project has been featured in Marie Claire and on CNN.com.

SeeWalker and Cardana said they hope to meet community members who want to become part of the project and share their stories.

For more information about the project, visit www.redroadproject.com or e-mail info@redroadproject.com.

For more information about the events, call the Riverton Branch Library at 856-3556.