“In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my own mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for in my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light and what I most regretted were my silences.”
--Audre Lorde, from The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action

Rhetoric & Revolution joins the art of Rhetoric with film and digital design to create an arts based, intermodal social practice that allows participants to deeply understand critical social issues through the lens of historical speeches. Combining the traditional art of Rhetoric with the technology of today's generation, we have designed a project intended to open individuals to the strength of their own and other's words, and to the necessity of taking a personal stand as the cornerstone of social change.
 
Mid school and high school students will work from one of six speeches, learning about the historical context of the speech, recognizing and studying the themes and issues represented, considering the role that language plays in getting the speech’s message across, and then they will design a personal response from their own passionate convictions. These two to three minute responses may take the form of simple personal narratives as they relate to the issue, a reworking of the original speech or an entirely new amalgamation of voice, images, music and text.

Curriculum has been developed for:

The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action — Audre Lorde
Beyond Vietnam — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Working Towards Peace — Flying Eagle Woman (Ingrid Washinawatok)
Ain’t I a Woman — the words of Sojourner Truth
New Year’s Address to the Nation-1990 — Vaclav Havel
“Chief Seattle’s Speech” — Ted Perry
 


Students will be asked to film their responses and submit them to us for inclusion in an on-line salon, creating an open forum for community voices and supporting a national/international visual and spoken dialogue around pressing social issues.