Elena Rivera | KBIA

Elena Rivera

Elena Rivera is a graduate student at the University of Missouri with a focus in radio reporting. She has reported and produced stories on arts and culture, education and mental health for KBIA. She received a B.A. in Communication and International Studies from Hope College in Holland, Michigan. Before coming to KBIA, Elena worked as the Career Development Specialist for a North Carolina non-profit called Dress for Success Triangle, which helped unemployed and underemployed women find jobs.

Today on Intersection, we’re sharing interviews with local authors coming to the Unbound Book Festival this weekend, and also exploring concerns about diversity and expression at the festival. Unbound is a three-day event that brings authors from all over the world to Columbia to talk and share insight on their work. The event runs from April 19 to the 21, and will be held in venues across Columbia, including The Missouri Theatre and Stephens College. This year's headline speaker is author Zadie Smith.

As we put together this show, we learned of people voicing concerns over diversity and inclusion at the Unbound Book Festival, particularly on several panels with all white participants. 

Ibtisam Barakat, a Palestinian-American author, posted a statement to Facebook about a week ago saying she was encouraged by these discussions to reveal racism experienced while participating in an Unbound panel last year. Barakat talked with producer Abby Ivory-Ganja about her experience. Sara Shahriari spoke with festival organizer Alex George about what will change for the festival going forward.  


True False logo
File Photo / KBIA

Today, we're looking back at a few popular films from the True/False film festival. We spoke with six filmmakers about the process behind their films and what they hope audiences gain from their work. 

The films cover a range of topics, from the father-son relationship within a radical jihadist group, the nature-nurture debate and the loss of Singapore's first independent film. 

Our producers talked with the directors of Primas, Shirkers, Black Mother, Antonio e Catrina, Three Identical Strangers and Of Fathers and Sons. 


Regional stories from the KBIA newsroom, including:


True/False

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year's True/False Film Fes​​t.

Primas tells the story of two cousins who experienced sexual violence as teenagers and their journey of healing through art. Director Laura Bari followed cousins Rocio and Aldana from Argentina to her home in Montreal over the course of the film. 


Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside

This story is part of True/False Conversations, a series of in-depth interviews with the filmmakers of this year’s True/False Festival.  

Directors Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside took up residency in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, intending to make a film about tourism. Instead, a chance meeting at a party led them to the story at the center of América. It’s a film about caretaking, complicated family dynamics, and the bond between three brothers and their grandmother, América. 


Regional stories from the KBIA newsroom, including:


T/F Film Festival

 Today, we’re talking with four True/False filmmakers about the inspiration behind their documentaries and what they hope audiences learn from their films. The documentaries cover a range of topics including aging, deportation and policing.

 

The True/False fest starts Thursday, March 1 and ends Sunday, March 4. Over the course of four days, 45 films will be shown. You can find a complete list of films on the T/F website.

 


Nathan Lawrence/KBIA

Today on Intersection, we're exploring some of the fascinating cultural events in Columbia this month. We hear about journalism meeting civil rights history and theater in The Green Duck Lounge, the major international photography competition POYi, and get some insider views on True/False films. 

 


Netflix

This week on Intersection, we bring you an episode of the True/False Podcast, which is a collaboration between the True/False Film Fest and KBIA. The podcast showcases in-depth conversations with documentary film directors, and today we hear from director Kitty Green. Her documentary, "Casting JonBenét," was shown at last year’s True/False Film Festival and is now streaming on Netflix.


photo of Junot Diaz
Nina Subin

This week on Intersection, we bring you excerpts from author Junot Díaz's Jan. 22 talk at MU.

Díaz won the 2008 Pulitzer prize for his first novel, "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” He received a MacArthur 'Genius' Fellowship and co-founded the Voices of Our National Arts Foundation, which holds workshops for writers of color. He is a professor of writing at MIT.

Díaz immigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United State when he was six. In his literary work and activism, he tackles issues including immigration, assimilation and oppression.

 

His speech was part of the MU Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. event. During the talk, Díaz spoke about white supremacy, the role of artists and the lasting effects of slavery.

 


Today, we're talking with three mid-Missouri authors - Mary Collins Barile, David Crespy and Brian Katcher. They've written plays, books on local folklore and young adult novels.


Debbie Vance, left, smiles into the camera and wears a green MOMOM shirt and an orange vest. Her husband, David Vance, also wears a green MOMOM shirt and smiles into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Debbie and David Vance have both been volunteering at the annual MOMOM, or Missouri Mission of Mercy, for years. MOMOM is a once a year, two-day dental clinic providing free care for anyone who’s willing to wait in line. It’s in a different place every year, and this year’s 6th annual event was held in Joplin, Missouri.

They spoke about their experiences volunteering at the events and about the importance of educating their patients about oral health care’s effect on overall health.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

A photo of Dr. Berkley Hudson, Dr. Stephanie Shonekan, and Stephanie Hernandez Rivera
University of Missouri

It’s been more than two years since the protests at the University of Missouri. In 2015, the university was at the center of a national conversation on race relations and student activism.

Today, the campus has undergone a number of changes, including the hiring of a new Chancellor and UM System President, and a new division of diversity, inclusion, and equity.

Tyler Adkisson / KBIA

Two years ago, graduate students at the University of Missouri found out in an email that their health insurance would be cut. Students began protesting around the issue, eventually creating a group called the Coalition of Graduate Workers. Sarah Senff was a member of that coalition to improve working conditions for graduate students. KBIA’s Elena Rivera spoke with Senff about the organizing in 2015 and what has changed in the past two years for graduate students at MU.

Photo courtesy of Disney, Inc.

I grew up in Mexico City, Mexico. When I was younger, I would watch telenovelas with my friend Fernanda after school. We would both sit on her white, fur rug, our backpacks flung across the room.

For an hour every day, I saw all the women I could be: a ranchera keeping my land safe from a dastardly uncle, a time traveler, a queen. All the possibilities were in front of me.

 

 Dentist Jon Reagan smiles into the camera. He is wearing glasses and a bright yellow MOMOM [Missouri Mission of Mercy] t-shirt.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Jon Reagan is a dentist in Neosho, Mo., who has been practicing for almost 20 years. We met as he volunteered at the sixth annual Missouri Mission of Mercy (MOMOM). This is a once a year, two-day dental clinic providing free care for anyone who’s willing to wait in line. It’s in a different place every year, and this year the event was held in Joplin.

Nine years ago, Jon began visiting North Belize as a medical missionary, helping people with extractions and oral health care education. He spoke about the similarities he sees between the oral health issues in rural communities in Missouri and in Belize, as well as his passion for volunteering at MOMOM.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Pages