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Decker Library Exhibitions

Diversity in Film

February 2-20, 2016
Curated by Kelly Swickard

Normally, we at the Decker Library create a display for film awards season. Since this year the nominations for the Academy Awards were comprised of all white individuals in the major acting categories, we decided to create an exhibit celebrating diversity in film, including race, ethnicity, and gender. Additionally, diversity comprises a myriad of stories, viewpoints, and politics. We should focus on bringing diversity to the cinema not only through the people acting and directing, but also through the stories that are being told; and who decides which stories get to be told.

The subjects of the books on display include the many different countries and regions that have their own film industries, such as Bollywood. Many are extremely influential to American mainstream and independent films. There are a wide array of ethnicities and styles which create a dynamic fabric of global cinema; cinema isn't solely the product of one culture or nation. There are some materials in regard to making "nonmainstream movies," including independent films, which have seen a huge increase in interest, so much so that some question the "independent" nature of them. In addition, there are materials about underrepresented groups such as women, transgendered people, and people of color.

Films can contain controversial subjects. Some of the materials on display are in reference to films which challenge and spur us to action. Cinema exists to entertain, but it can also educate and enlighten. Many films are about sexuality, race, politics, pain and suffering. By exposing ourselves to the totality of the human experience as seen in the movies, we can learn more about others and realize our shared humanity. Hopefully, this will aid us in finding a commonality to our existence.

The world is a big place and we hope in the coming years that the award nominations reflect the vast diversity of it. Additionally, we hope that films continue to depict those underrepresented groups and thought-provoking subjects.

This exhibit is far from inclusive of all groups, subjects, or even the materials within our collection. Please ask if you need help in looking up additional materials. Stop in, check it out, and join us in honoring the innumerable artistic and technical achievements made by these various people.

Books on display are available for checkout at any time. Please ask a staff member at the circulation desk for assistance. Special Collections items, when on display, are available for viewing within the library.

Image Information:
A selection of books currently on display, exemplifying diversity in film. Photo by Meredith Moore.