During assembly on Friday, January 15, founder / filmmaker Sarah Barasch-Hagans and summer intern Shoshana Williams '16 spoke to students about the Fargesn Media Project — "a narrative seeking truth after civil unrest." (Fargesn means forgotten in Yiddish.) The project began with the story of Ferguson but intends to be a model that can be used world-wide.
The Ferguson/Fargesn project includes seven mini-documentaries, in which everyday people share their everyday stories about what happened and is happening in Ferguson — rather than letting the story be told by others. Shoshana showed the first, "St. Louis, there's going to be some struggle," which features individual perspectives and observations about Ferguson, St. Louis, intentional segregation and prospects for the future.
The series premiered on August 9, 2015, the one-year anniversary of Michael Brown's death. Barasch-Hagans said it focuses on the intersection of blackness and Judaism and highlights the important (and sometimes underestimated) contributions of youth, women and LGBTs to the civil rights movement. She urged students to use social media as the tool to tell their stories.
Shoshana's involvement grew out of the desire to get to know "my city, my home" and the "importance of bearing witness." She was interested in giving people a place to tell their story. During her first trip north of Delmar, she said she became silent. She did not realize and could not believe people from St. Louis, "my home," lived in areas of such impoverishment. During the internship, Shoshana listened, learned and engaged — she now tutors in a north country neighborhood every week.
Barasch-Hagans said that all long-term change — political, social, etcetera — must begin with listening and the development of relationships. She said Ferguson should be remembered for the good that is ... and can come.