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Intersection - Columbia Culture Standouts with Green Duck Lounge, POYi and True/False Picks

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. 


The Green Duck Lounge premiers Wednesday, February 21 at the Rhynsburger Theatre. The play explores how the Black Lives Matter movement mirrors the 1960s Civil Rights movement through the life of Leon Jordan, a Kansas City police officer, legislator and activist. The first act is set in 2015, and the second set 40 years earlier. Steve Kraske of KCUR's Up to Date talked with playwright and journalist Michelle Tyrene Johnson.

Johnson on the parallels between Black Lives Matter and the Civil Rights Movement: “There is such a parallel between the civil rights movement and the kind of conversation people are having. It’s all about equality, making sure people have the rights they deserve, they’re the same things even if they look different”

The 75th annual Pictures of the Year International competition is currently taking place in the Fred Smith Forum at the Reynolds Journalism Institute. We spoke with the competition’s new director, Lynden Steele, and one of the judges, photographer Dave LaBelle.

Steele on judging:

“It's kind of like listening to poetry sometimes, because they can see the tragicness of some of the images, the power of the images, and also the beauty of the atmosphere that the photographer captures and how photography uses that atmosphere to support the mood within this tragic scene.”

LaBelle on this year’s competition:

“I like that we’re representing the important issues in our country. I like that I’m seeing the images out of St. Louis. I like that I’m seeing some of the political pictures. Some are from protests and I’m seeing immigration. They’ve been keeping that issue on the forefront and we need to keep that issue on the forefront.”

The True/False Film Fest brings even more international culture to Columbia. This week on the True False Podcast, Allison Coffelt talked with Abby Sun and Chris Boeckman about their must-see films from this year’s lineup.

A film Boeckman is excited about for this year’s festival:

“One movie that’s actually starting its life here is a film called Black Mother which is a film by the director Khalik Allah. This time he’s going to the country where his mother is from which is Jamaica. He’s looking at a pretty wide array of topics from the country’s relationship with the Christian church to what it’s like being a sex worker in the country and it’s actually structured around a pregnant mother’s trimester on her way to birth.”

Sara Shahriari was the assistant news director at KBIA-FM, and she holds a master's degree from the Missouri School of Journalism. Sara hosted and was executive producer of the PRNDI award-winning weekly public affairs talk show Intersection. She also worked with many of KBIA’s talented student reporters and teaches an advanced radio reporting lab. She previously worked as a freelance journalist in Bolivia for six years, where she contributed print, radio and multimedia stories to outlets including Al Jazeera America, Bloomberg News, the Guardian, the Christian Science Monitor, Deutsche Welle and Indian Country Today. Sara’s work has focused on mental health, civic issues, women’s and children’s rights, policies affecting indigenous peoples and their lands and the environment. While earning her MA at the Missouri School of Journalism, Sara produced the weekly Spanish-language radio show Radio Adelante. Her work with the KBIA team has been recognized with awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and PRNDI, among others, and she is a two-time recipient of funding from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
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.