Courtesy of the Cornell India Association, Cornell Cinema will serve free samosas and chai March 19 at 5 p.m., before the Ithaca premiere of “Jolly LLB 2” at 5:30 p.m. in Willard Straight Theatre.
Part of World Cinema Week, the 2016 Bollywood comedy features Akshay Kumar as a clumsy lawyer facing the most critical court case of his career.
Cornell Cinema also screens the Marx Brothers’ 1933 comedy “Duck Soup” to wrap up its Demagogues series, March 23-24; and Terry Gilliam’s “Brazil,” a dystopian cult classic from 1985, in its Steampunk Aesthetic series.
Climate change comedy
Professor of history Aaron Sachs offers an alternative to the rhetoric characterizing climate change as dire and catastrophic: humor. He makes his case in “The Oxymoronic Possibilities of Climate Change Comedy,” March 20 at 2:55 p.m. in B25 Warren Hall. His Cornell Climate Change Seminar presentation is free and open to the campus and Ithaca communities and available via Zoom Webinar.
“Virtually all writing and advocacy on climate change is, so far, undertaken in a serious, or tragic, or even catastrophic mode,” Sachs says. “Scientists’ warnings are almost always characterized as ‘dire’; and book titles often invoke ‘the end of civilization.’”
The universitywide 2017 Cornell University Climate Change Seminar, Monday afternoons through May 8, draws from many perspectives and disciplines. It is sponsored by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, the Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future.
Soil art and science
The next Science Cabaret will dig into new perspectives on soil health and demonstrate the art of soil painting. The free program, “From the Field to the Canvas: On Healthy Soil and Dirty Art,” is Tuesday, March 21, at 7 p.m. at Coltivare, 235 S. Cayuga St., Ithaca. It is open to all ages.
Kirsten Kurtz and Bob Schindelbeck from the Cornell Soil Health Laboratory will explore the nature and properties of soil and agriculture. Kurtz, a visual artist as well, will illustrate the beauty of this resource that’s essential to human survival.
Kurtz is the lab’s operations manager, and also has responsibilities in research, teaching and outreach and more than five years of experience working with soil health assessments. Schindelbeck is an extension associate in the Department of Crop and Soil Science and coordinates the lab’s efforts to assist growers and researchers.
Turning art into action
Catherwood Library hosts a book talk by author Ruth Sergel, March 22 at 4:30 p.m. in the library’s Kheel Center in Ives Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Sergel is an artist and agitator who writes about social and economic justice. Her latest book is inspired by the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City that caused the death of 146 garment workers, most of them immigrant women. The deadliest industrial disaster in city and U.S. history, it led to improved safety standards, better working conditions and the growth of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union.
Her 2016 book, “See You in the Streets: Art, Action, and Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire,” offers a perspective on an art practice that bridges art and technology, memory and wonder to create compassionate works as an incitement to individual and social transformation.
Buffalo Street Books will have books available for purchase and signing after Sergel’s talk. For more information, call 607-255-8045.
Three new works in the spring Locally Grown Dance Festival, March 23-25 at the Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, combine live dance performance with video of dancers at locations around campus.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. each night in Kiplinger Theatre. Tickets are available at schwartztickets.com or at the Schwartz Center box office (open Tuesday–Saturday, 2:30-8 p.m.), 430 College Ave., Ithaca.
In development over several months, “Captured Spaces” will feature dance pieces directed and choreographed by performing and media arts faculty members Jumay Chu, Ed Intemann, Byron Suber and Nic Ceynowa, and videography by Suber and by Brad Nathanson, B.Arch. ’18. Video was shot in the Schwartz Center and in Rand, Sibley and Milstein Halls.
“We began working with dancers in late August, capturing their dancing on video in various locations,” Chu said. Video projections will accompany the dancers in performance, she said, with “the screened figures sometimes shadowing the real dancers, sometimes recalling the ghost of other places.”
Cancer and community
A workshop, “Social Issues in Community Engagement by Cancer Scientists,” will be held March 25-26 in 401 Warren Hall. Participation is free; seating is limited. Register online by March 17.
The workshop’s opening talk, March 25 at 9 a.m., is “Empathic Listening and Supporting Others With Cancer” by Bob Riter, executive director of the Cancer Resource Center of the Finger Lakes (CRCFL).
Organized by instructors Kristy Richards, M.D., and Robert Weiss, of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, the program includes presentations on medical research, pharmaceuticals and policy advocacy, a panel discussion with cancer patients and survivors, and student interviews with community members.
The workshop is part of a cancer education curriculum supported by Engaged Cornell, involving a partnership between Cornell cancer researchers, the CRCFL and community members including cancer patients and survivors.