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“Racism is a construct, a social construct… but “race” can only be defined as a human being” – Toni Morrison.

Nobody is born a racist. We are taught to be racist. And if we can learn something, we can unlearn it. It is urgent to eradicate the dehumanizing myth of racial difference that endures today. Any type of violence -physical, political, legal, economic and environmental- on the basis of race is not only unfair and unjust, but intolerable. The following films confront students with our history and our present reality of racial injustice, one that we need to look straight into the eye in order to create a new era of truth and justice.

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SIMA Classroom Lynching in America

Abbeville: Lynching in America

The extraordinary journey of a family overcoming a century of silence to expose the truth.
Produced with the Equal Justice initiative, this is a film about the importance of commemorating, remembering and disrupting history. As Bryan Stevenson states, we won’t be able to move forward until we acknowledge our history and address it.

Director: Juan Mejia
Producer: Juan Yepes

7 min
North America
United States
Languages: English

What Happened to Dejuan Armstron?

“When a young man mysteriously dies in a Bay Area jail, his mother begins a determined quest to find out what happened to him, but quickly runs into the opaque and powerful position of American sheriffs.

This intimate, fast-paced documentary follows Barbara Doss’ search to discover the details of her son’s mysterious death in Santa Rita jail. In the summer of 2018, 23-year-old Dujuan Armstrong was serving weekends for a burglary conviction, but one weekend he never came home. Thus began Barbara’s journey for truth and justice.

Director: Lucas Guilkey
Producers: Lucas Guilkey

27 min | USA
Languages: English

India’s Forbidden Love 

In March 2016 Kausalya and her husband Shankar were brutally attacked on a crowded street in southern India. Shankar, who came from a lower Dalit caste, died of his injuries. Kausalya survives and accuses her parents of orchestrating an honour killing. She fights for justice through the courts, testifying against her parents in a trial where they face the death penalty. Her now estranged grandparents and brother Gautham also await the verdict, desperately hoping Kausalya’s mother and father will be released. This is the story of a family torn apart by a caste hierarchy deeply rooted in India’s social fabric.

Director: Sadhana Subramaniam
Producers: Anna Murphy, Harri Grace (Grain Media)

25 min
Europe | South Asia
UK | India
Languages: Hindi
Subtitles: English

Ashe 68

“Fifty years ago, amid the turmoil of 1968, there was Arthur Ashe, an athlete who parlayed his fame as the first black man to win the US Open tennis championship into a lifetime devoted to fighting injustice.The ASHE ’68 Virtual Reality Experience brings viewers into the intimate moments right before Arthur Ashe’s historic 1968 US Open win, an event that changed his life and the course of sports history forever. From the internal pressures he felt during this turbulent cultural shift, to walking down the halls of Forest Hills’ all white West Side Tennis Club, to his historic pre-match press conference and winning match point – the viewer is right there, immersed in that historic day witnessing Ashe’s defining moment as an athlete and emergence as an activist on the world stage.

Director: Brad Lichtenstein, Jeff Fitzsimmons, Rex Miller
Producer: Madeline Power, Beth Hubbard

8 min
Language: English

SIMA Classroom Dancing the Revolution

Dancing the Revolution

A glance into the lives of “colorless” African artists in Tanzania fighting against stigmatization and killings of people with albinism through performing arts. In recent years, Tanzania became infamous for a number of tragic cases of Albino murders which were caused by a false belief that certain body parts of Albinos transmit magical powers. The Albino Revolution Cultural Troupe, which was formed in 2000, organizes musical and theatre performances at conferences, cultural events and campaigns to raise awareness and fight prejudice against Albinos.

Directors & Producers: Vaida Blazyte & Mara Cavalli

20 min
Sub-Saharan Africa
Languages: English, Swahili
Subtitles: English

SIMA Classroom The Conscious Hood

The Conscious Hood: Being Black is not a crime

“Being Black Is No Crime” is the fourth episode of the web-series “The Conscious Hood” documenting social issues crucial to the residents of São Paulo’s Heliópolis, the second largest urban slum in Latin America. Directed by videomaker Katherine Jinyi Li and filmed during her youth journalism workshops at the community organization UNAS-Heliópolis, The Conscious Hood features Li’s journalism students, their families, neighbors, and community leaders as protagonists of their social struggle.
“Being Black Is No Crime” brings the violent reality of police discrimination against young, black members of the Heliópolis favela to the screen with locals’ testimonies on camera, a short skit of a standard stop and frisk, a “funk” rap, and a quick lesson of any person’s legal rights when stopped by the police.

Director: Katherine Jinyi Li
Producer: Katherine Jinyi Li

7 min
Latin America
Language: Portuguese
Subtitles: English

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Brazil’s African slave descendants, the Quilombola, have fought a long and hard struggle for recognition. After the abolition of the slave trade they were left abandoned and ostracised, devoid of rights and outside of Brazilian mainstream society. But things are slowly changing amongst rural communities.

In the 1988 constitution Brazil’s Quilombola were granted access to land rights and since then they have been actively building a way to secure land titles on the sites where many have lived for generations. Community mapping is an important tool in this process, as is increasing awareness amongst the Brazilian population through education and ecotourism.

Director: Paul Redman
Producer: Tim Lewis

8 min
Latin America
Languages: Portuguese
Subtitles: Portuguese, English, Indonesian, Spanish

PYGMY: People of DRC

Marginalised for decades, Pygmy peoples are fighting for recognition and land rights. Even the term ‘pygmy’ is laced with historical racism and prejudice, they are not treated as equal citizens in their home country. At the heart of pygmy culture is their forest, central to their spiritual beliefs, and ancestral heritage it is also their source of food and livelihood. Large swathes of their land is being exploited by international companies without the consent of the Pygmy peoples.

But the Pygmy movement is growing and organising fueled by the younger generation, their momentum sustained by solidarity.

Director: Paul Redman

6 min
Sub-Saharan Africa
DR Congo
Languages: English

SIMA Classroom Behind The Fence

Behind the Fence

Behind the Fence is a 360 virtual reality documentary that looks inside the 5×5 square mile camp that imprisons the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, and investigates the extremist Buddhists who propagate virulent anti-Muslim sentiment across the country. Behind the Fence profiles Abul, a husband who does everything he can to try to help his sick wife, Barbulu, a twelve-year-old boy whose future is diminished due to the constraints of living in this open-air prison, and U Wirathu, the Buddhist leader of the 969 movement who stokes public support for restrictive laws that have rendered the Rohingya stateless in their own land.This is the first virtual reality film to document the Rohingya, who are surviving a Buddhist-led campaign to eliminate them. Experts say the Rohingya are most persecuted people on earth, facing a genocide intended to erase them.

Director: Lindsay Branham
Producer: Fortify Rights, Jack Sadak

8 min
Southeast Asia
Languages: Rohingya
Subtitles: English

SIMA Classroom Dignity


The DIGNITY film is a key component to a human rights campaign, which includes the photography exhibition, DIGNITY: Tribes in Transition, by Dana Gluckstein. DIGNITY helped create the “tipping point” for President Obama to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). This film focuses on the urgent need for implementation of UNDRIP and continues to educate and inspire millions of people as it tours museums and cultural venues throughout Europe and the US.

Director: Dana Gluckstein

11 min
North America
Language: English

SIMA Classroom Quipu

Quipu Calls For Justice

Esperanza and Teodula are calling for justice in rural Peru, they are part of 300,000 people sterilised without consent more than 18 years ago. The Quipu Project is their phone line that allows the affected across the country to share their shocking testimonies and ensure those responsible are punished.


Directors: Maria Ignacia Court & Rosemarie Lerner
Producers: Sandra Tabares-Duque, Rosemarie Lerner, Maria I Court

2017 | 21 mins
Latin America
Languages: Spanish, Quechua
Subtitles: English


Students will learn the power of visual storytelling by exercising their artistic skills through creative expression, igniting critical consciousness.