Memoir by Rita M. Csapó-Sweet:
Painting, Collage, Photography, Video, Film, Writings and the Internet
"The theory of a free press is that the truth will emerge from free reporting andfree discussion, not that it will be presented perfectly and instantly in any one account."
____________________________________________________________________________________________U.S. journalist, editor, syndicated columnist, Pulitzer Prizes: 1958; 1962Walter Lippmann (1889-1974)
[for exact references see the
Prior to 1990
Over the past twenty-five years,
I sustained a single vision artistically and professionally across seven
disciplines: painting, collage, photography, video, film, writings, and
the Internet. Characteristic of my scholarly work is examining global
interconnectedness and human communication through art / media. The
object of my work is to examine cultural contexts and to expose the multiple
layers and shades of meaning that provide texture to our lives and society.
This work examines the gap between conflicting ideologies: East versus
West, Communist versus non-communist, left versus right. I am fascinated
by the physical and visual fragments, remnants and residues of cultural
artifacts. They fill my work as a collage artist, shape my interests
as a communication scholar, and haunt the images in my documentary films.
My paintings and collages were exhibited
between 1974 and 1997. They reflect images of Cold War icons through
texture and layering. In the mid-1970s, I studied in Paris with Lucien
Hervé (the photographer for architect Le Corbusier) who taught me
about life and art. An immigrant from Hungary, Hervé had the
gift for seeing a culture as an insider and also from the outside.
He suffered from the disease myasthenia gravis, struggling each day to
simply stand up and walk. Yet Hervé’s mind was always engaged
and in spite of his physical struggle he showed me how to use the camera
as he always had; to see beauty and to define its moments. Thus by
photographing street graffiti in Budapest, Paris, and New York, I “collected”
the colors and textures of urban street posters; layers of imagery and
non-contextual verbal messages. Carrying that imagery into the studio,
I experimented with translating the subtractive quality of the images (disintegrating
or torn layers of old posters and announcements) into the additive medium
of paint and mixed media.
Since the mid-1970s, I explored the
special dimension of these urban images through video. With a quantizer
at the St. Louis Art Museum in 1979, I re-photographed my original street
images with a video camera, thus electronically “painting” them.
Film making led to discovering qualities of my images that were elusive
when concentrated in a static and fixed medium. During the 1980s,
I took the process a step further by transcending the shallow resolution
of video imagery, through the use of 16 mm film. This medium provided
images with greater contrast, color saturation and depth of field.
In 1982, my 16 mm film short titled “No Borders” was broadcast on “Airtime”
PBS and shown at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts in
My geo-political arena is Eastern
Europe based in Hungary. My projects behind the Iron Curtain began
in 1973. This was long before it became fashionable or safe for American
scholars to develop democracy-oriented programs in Eastern Europe.
In the 1970s, my Eastern European collaborators were young Hungarian artists,
filmmakers and television producers who today are the leading cultural
elite of a new Hungary. Between the 1970s and the 1990s, my Eastern
European colleagues treaded a shifting line between Communism and Western
style free-expression. Each of us sought peace and the elimination
of the threat of a nuclear war through mutual understanding and shared
experiences. For most of those two decades, working and even associating
with me was for many of my Eastern European collaborators personally and
The consistent theme of my scholarly
work is analysis of political systems and culture in the United States
and in Eastern Europe. In the late 1970s, I began working with films
of colleagues in Eastern Europe. I curated the festival Hungarian
Cinema of the 70s at the St. Louis Art Museum in 1978. Also,
I taught courses in Czech and Hungarian film at Washington University from
1979 to 1981. Since the height of the Cold War, I was driven by a
passion to bridge an understanding between two cultures. The film
series that I curated in the United States, amid considerable public controversy,
presented the critical evaluation by Eastern European filmmakers of the
tyranny and absurdity of the political and social institutions behind the
Iron Curtain. Most of the controversy attracted by my screening Eastern
European films in St. Louis came from groups that condemned anyone daring
to publicly exhibit in America’s heartland, films recently produced in
Communist countries. The general public and media critics, however,
had only praise for my Eastern European film series.
My early research on Sesame Street
in Eastern Europe was a logical progression for building bridges between
cultures. Exposure to Eastern European film in the 1970s made it
clear to me that a successful American children’s television program could
help to develop better understanding between Americans and Eastern Europeans.
By 1980, Sesame Street had overcome earlier skepticism in the United States.
That year, I applied to the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University
to work with Dr. Gerald Lesser. He is one of the original creators
of the popular children’s television program and responsible for developing
it’s theoretical framework.
Dr. Lesser is a Board member of the
Children’s Television Workshop that produces the series in New York.
I asked him to sponsor my research in Eastern Europe for a doctoral thesis
at Harvard University. He endorsed my independent project, and helped
me to arrange for the Children’s Television Workshop to license Sesame
Street for broadcast in Hungary. This provided an opportunity for
me to extend my work in mass communication to another aspect of media in
Eastern Europe. At the time, Sesame Street had not been seen in Eastern
Europe. There was no research on Sesame Street in Eastern Europe,
and indeed no studies on the effects of the program on second language
In 1986, I received a grant from
the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) for research on children’s
film and television programming in Hungary (other funding came from the
Soros Foundation, and the Hungarian Ministry of Education). At the
time, I was creating my own animated films and also interested in exploring
the inclusion of Hungarian animation in American television programs for
children. Throughout 1986, while working at the Panonia Animation
Studio in Budapest and School-TV at Hungarian Television I collaborated
with Producer Judit Kopper and Chief of School-TV, Endre Kelemen.
The political situation in Hungary by the mid-1980s was conducive to the
exchange of foreign programming, particularly with the United States.
Kelemen and I explored creating a Hungarian version of Sesame Street.
In the mid-1980s, Hungary was still
seen as a bridge to the West. It was at the time by far the most
open and politically progressive of the Eastern bloc countries. Discussions
and negotiations were underway with the Children’s Television Workshop
for a modest co-production of an “Eastern European Sesame Street,” with
Hungarian Television, that would later be shown and modified throughout
the region. Unfortunately, in 1987, Hungarian Television suffered
severe financial crises and it was no longer feasible to create such a
program. The deteriorating economy in Hungary excluded expensive
new Hungarian-American television co-productions at School-TV. This
led me in early 1988 to change the Sesame Street project into a classroom
study for answering the question: Can Hungarian children learning
English as a second language acquire new English words by viewing Sesame
By November 1988, I completed my
studies in Budapest and Debrecen. Moreover, I did finally get Hungarian
Television to nationally broadcast Sesame Street in English for the first
time. Since Hungarian TV also reaches across its bordering countries,
the program was by 1989 for the first time seen in parts of: eastern
Austria, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, and western U.S.S.R in 1989.
Also in 1989, Eastern European Communism and the Cold War came to an unexpected
end (not entirely due to Sesame Street).
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After joining the faculty of the
University of Missouri - St. Louis in 1990, I continued working towards
fostering better understanding between Americans and East Europeans;
partly by initiating international student exchange and “sister university”
programs. In 1993, I worked on the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) project to bring young journalists from the newly democratic
countries in Eastern Europe to the U.S. for training in journalism education.
The P.I. for the grant was Dr. Dean Mills, Dean of the School of Journalism
at the University of Missouri - Columbia.
In 1994, Dr. Joel Glassman, Director
of the Center for International Studies at UM - St. Louis and I launched
a program for a student exchange program with Kossuth Lajos University
in Debrecen, Hungary. The Center for International Studies at UM
- St. Louis serves as a very important facility for me through which to
develop new globally oriented scholarly programs. The exchange program
provided a one year, fully funded exchange for four Hungarian students
and four UMSL students, paid for by the United States Information Agency’s
Samantha Smith Foundation. For this project, I built upon the long
standing contacts that I had made in Eastern Europe since the 1970’s.
Alas, the Samantha Smith grant ended
after only one year when funds for student exchange programs were slashed
in 1994 by the newly elected United States Congress. However, I continued
to work closely with one of the Hungarian exchange students who spent a
year at UM - St. Louis. Ildiko Kaposi came to our University as a
very bright English major. After taking my course Introduction to
Cinema, Ildiko decided communication would be her avocation. In May
1998, she completed her Masters degree in media studies at Goldsmiths College,
University of London. We recently wrote two articles: “David Lynch
and Other Strange Bedfellows,” currently under review; and also “Mass Media
in Post-Communist Hungary” which is in press for the International Communication
My work in the 1990s is a continuation
of subjects that I initiated in the 1970s. Associated with my involvement
in the production side of film and video, in the last decade I was a festival
judge and curator of scholarly film and video programs. In 1994,
while editing my work at Hungarian Television I met Jeno Hartyandi, the
Director of the Mediawave International Film and Visual Arts Festival.
Mediawave is among the most important festivals for independent films in
Eastern Europe. The Festival serves as a crossroads for technically
unusual and socially relevant films that are often a barometer of conditions
in Eastern Europe. These films are often overlooked by the increasingly
more commercial festivals in both Europe and the United States. In
1995, I was invited to be a member of the international film jury at Mediawave.
At the same time, I was working with the director and founder of the St.
Louis Film Festival to create a bridge between these new venues for emerging
independent film. Since the Fall of 1996, I curated programs of Greek,
German, and Hungarian film at the St. Louis Film Festival through the Center
for International Studies at the University of Missouri.
Also in 1996, I received a grant
from the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX) to conduct a
study in Hungary on film and video from Eastern Europe. My grant,
“Independent Cinema in Post Cold War Eastern Europe: What the Mediawave
Archive Reveals,” allowed me to spend a month in Hungary to investigate
which material shown over the past five years at the Mediawave Festival
would be suitable for a side-bar at the 1997 St. Louis Film Festival .
In the Fall of 1997, I curated and organized a Festival of cutting-edge
video from Eastern Europe: The Best of Mediawave Video Festival at the
University of Missouri - St. Louis. The program included work never
before screened in the West (produced both for television and independently
produced by video artists). One of the programs featured in the Best
of Mediawave Festival, “Experiment of the Cross,” was about a prison for
children in Kazakhstan (the same program was featured 6 months later on
CBS’s 60 Minutes). The Best of Mediawave Video Festival was very
well received by the public. For example, a review of Experiment
of the Cross in the Riverfront Times described the program as, “a staggering
and awe-inspiring experience.”
My research revealed that some of
the most exciting work, in particular in the documentary field, is being
done in video. Indeed, it would have been literally impossible to
have made the Kazakhstan documentary video Experiment of the Cross as a
motion picture film because of many practical reasons. Thus, a program
curated in video may in fact represent the freshest, most important trends
in present day Eastern European society. The problem however, is
that video while more immediate, affordable, and accessible than film,
is of a much more fragile quality, and is not globally standardized.
For a curator these realities create both challenges, and great opportunities.
My recent work with Mediawave and with the St. Louis Film Festival goes
to the very heart of what I have been pursuing intellectually and professionally
during the past twenty years, since I curated the 1978 Hungarian Film Festival
at the St. Louis Art Museum. Then too, the curated program for St.
Louis that I researched in Eastern Europe featured films that months later
were shown at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. My long
standing, on-going contacts and creative collaborations with artists and
filmmakers in Eastern Europe gave me entrée to cultural events abroad
that I used for creating programs in the U.S. for over two decades
After the Berlin Wall came down,
the new freedom to travel in former communist countries fostered increasing
professional exchanges with Eastern Europe and provided new opportunities
for American scholars. In 1993, I received a grant from the University
of Missouri to work with my colleagues at Hungarian Television on a project
for cross-culturally examining mass media. The special perspectives
of producer Judit Kopper and director Andras Solyom were necessary for
critically examining American news media, and the differences / similarities
with the rapidly evolving press in Hungary. Kopper (with whom I worked
at School-TV almost a decade earlier) and I began collaborating on a series
of programs about the media. Coincidentally, our collaboration spanned
one of the most difficult periods at Hungarian Television. When I
first wrote the grant for our project, Kopper was chief of the Friz Production
unit at Hungarian Television. This system of autonomous production
units was an innovation at Hungarian Television after decades of a state-run
Kopper and Solyom had survived the
political and social turmoil after 1989, ushering in privatization of the
formerly state run television networks in Hungary. Kopper worked
at School-TV for almost two decades, winning numerous national and international
awards for her children’s programs. By 1990, a new and more democratic
Hungarian government dismantled the bureaucratic structure of the former
state Hungarian Television and replaced it with small autonomous production
units. For almost three years, Kopper was the head of one of these
units as Executive Producer for two regular programs specializing in media
analysis: Videoworld, and MediaMix. Videoworld was an encyclopedic
series on contemporary culture in Eastern Europe and the former USSR.
Through Videoworld, Kopper documented and analyzed the social and political
changes overtaking Eastern Europe and the role of the “media” as they were
happening: the revolution in Romania; the fall of the Berlin Wall; and
the political coup in Moscow. The Hungarian version of our interview
with Noam Chomsky was the last program of Kopper’s series Videoworld.
After after that broadcast, Videoworld was canceled as a result of the
conservative politics of the new Hungarian government.
Kopper’s programs from this period
are a time-capsule of the history of revolution in Eastern Europe as well
as the modern media globally. The programs include interviews with
prominent Hungarians such as writer George Konrad and philanthropist George
Soros, and Western artists Dara Birnbaum and Nam June Piak. Kopper
herself says, her programs began as a forum for “video art” but evolved
into programs about the media itself. History overtook events in
Eastern Europe and her investigations concentrated on the interface between
media and politics.
The evolution of my work was similar
to that of my collaborator Judit Kopper. Our early training in fine
arts created an interest about the ways humans communicate visually and
verbally. I too had roots in the cultural world of Eastern Europe
in the 1970s. It was a time when words, visual images and ideas had
real power because there were serious consequences for expressing them.
The graphic arts, film and, by the mid-1970s, video were powerful tools
in the hands of dissidents. As the Iron Curtain crumbled throughout
Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, privatization and free-market economics
replaced communism as the new ideology; collaterally replacing the familiar
old icons of the former East bloc.
Aggressive advertising by free-market
capitalist corporations bear many similarities to the earlier, heavy-handed
propaganda style of Eastern European Communist governments. Thus,
Kopper and I were interested in examining the views of those who are among
the severest critics of corporate driven American mass media. Such
views were articulately presented by Professor Noam Chomsky at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology. This study was especially intriguing for
my Hungarian collaborators Kopper and Solyom. Like my previous art
work that “played” with Communist Eastern European icons, my recent work
sometimes uncomfortably touches on latent dogma and absurdity in contemporary
American political and social institutions. Chomsky’s marginalization
by mainstream American media experts and scholars parallels the treatment
by the Communist media establishment of independent thinkers in Eastern
Europe from the 1960s through the 1980s. The Kopper/Solyom/Csapó-Sweet
documentary television programs were presented at national scholarly meetings
and broadcast on television in both Hungary and the United States.
My more recent articles deal with
modern American film, development of mass media in newly democratic Eastern
Europe, and the use of the Internet for communicating with the free world
by those seeking democracy for former Yugoslavia. In 1994, I wrote
an article for the St. Louis Journalism Review on the work of the Dutch
organization Press Now . This organization supports “independent
media” in Eastern Europe, particularly in the former Yugoslavia.
Press Now organized links between media organizations in Eastern Europe
(not part of any government propaganda apparatus) and like-minded media
organizations in Western Europe and the United States. Media groups
in the West could “adopt” a newspaper, magazine, radio or TV station and
send them whatever they needed to do their work (newsprint, audio or video
tape and other vital supplies). I wrote about this grassroots organization
because it was the continuation of a phenomenon I had observed and participated
in since the mid-1970s in Eastern Europe.
In the former Yugoslavia, independent
voices of artists, writers, filmmakers, and other “subversives” were crying
out for free expression and democracy in a hostile and sometimes dangerous
environment. By 1992, the stakes suddenly became much higher.
With the outbreak of war in Bosnia, independent media voices became beacons
of sanity in a world gone mad. As state media outlets were commandeered
for nationalistic war propaganda campaigns, tiny independent news organizations
struggled to survive both literally and figuratively. This formed
the basis of my Balkan projects.
In 1994, I interviewed and hosted
in St. Louis journalist Mehmed Halilovic, editor of the Sarajevo daily
newspaper Oslobodenje. Mr. Halilovic received the top journalism
prize from the University of Missouri on behalf of his newspaper.
The prize recognized that throughout the war in Bosnia, Oslobodenje continued
to publish every day, even when their building was shelled by Serbian guns
and the top floors were on fire. Oslobodenje was dedicated to the
concept of a multi-ethnic Yugoslavia and employed Jews, Muslims, Serbs,
and Croats; before, during, and after the war in Bosnia.
Deeply moved by Mehmed Halilovic,
I pledged to do whatever I could to assist Press Now and the campaign to
strengthen the independent media in the region. Accordingly, in 1996,
as I was working on an article about the independent media in Eastern Europe,
I began hearing reports on U.S. radio and television about civil unrest
in Belgrade, Serbia. In November 1996, there were the first municipal
elections in Serbia and the Milosevic government lost. Independent
radio stations in Belgrade (Radio B92, and Radio Index) announced the true
results of these elections. But the Milosevic government closed Parliament
and took the independent radio stations off the air. This resulted
in spontaneous, massive pro-democracy demonstrations in Belgrade with citizens
demanding a free and independent media. Logging on to the Internet,
I discovered that radio station B92 in Belgrade was sending their banned
news out in English in RealAudio files over the Internet, together with
video clips and color photos of the mass rallies in the streets.
Daily demonstrations in the streets
of Belgrade swelled to the tens of thousands in December 1996, and a movement
took shape calling itself Protest96. The protesters recognized the
power of the Internet to provide both picture and sound information instantaneously;
thus facilitating a previously unknown participatory democracy. As
an artist, I was stunned by the clarity and resolution of the color images
sent through cyberspace from Belgrade. Since the advent of the fax
machine in the 1980s, I was interested in the concept of simultaneous exhibitions
of images by artists on both sides of the “Iron Curtain.” However,
the poor resolution of fax technology made it impossible to use as a conduit
for the transmission of graphic images. Fax can transmit content
but not form. However, downloading the images from Protest96,
I realized that this technology can transmit both the content and also
the form from any event; for the first time in history. I decided
to mount a public exhibition both to showcase the phenomenal Internet photography
by the Serb students in Belgrade and for St. Louisians to interact directly
with the revolution taking place in Serbia. I named the exhibit,
Protest96: Revolution in Cyberspace.
Terry Suhre, the director of Gallery
210 at UM - St. Louis was taking down a show, and he offered the gallery
to me for mounting an “emergency” exhibition during the Christmas holidays.
Gallery 210 was only available until January 3, 1997, and I was determined
to keep Protest96 up somewhere until events in Belgrade reached a resolution.
After Gallery 210, Protest96 moved to the Infomachines [computer] Gallery
at the St. Louis Science Center; one of the top five science museums in
the United States. The exhibition remained at the Science Center
until mid-February 1997, when a truce was signed in Belgrade between the
demonstrators and the Milosevic government.
The exhibition of Protest96: Revolution
in Cyberspace consisted of six images of the demonstrations, blown up to
3 x 4 feet in black and white, and mounted on the gallery walls.
Dozens of 8 x 10 inch color photos were also downloaded and added to the
wall. In order to keep the exhibit current, these smaller images
were downloaded daily and added to the wall. A computer hard wired
to the Internet was in the gallery and visitors in St. Louis communicated
directly with the protesters in Belgrade. A series of artifacts were
mounted on free-standing pedestals in front of a communist flag; a television,
radio, egg carton, flowers, horns, whistles. These represented aspects
of the Serbian revolution against the backdrop of a decaying communist
ideology. The University exhibit included a wall covered with brown
wrapping paper for visitors to send hard-copy messages to the demonstrators
in Belgrade. In all, Protest96: Revolution in Cyberspace was part
photography show, part installation, part interactive display and pure
On June 5, 1998, I participated in
the discussion, “the Internet in political revolution” on National Public
Radio’s Science Friday. Indonesian students and others opposed to
the government of President Suharto had just used the Internet to coordinate
their revolution and brought down a powerful government that ruled for
over 30 years. I informed the NPR listeners that this technology
was used first in Belgrade during Protest96 and that the St. Louis called
exhibition Protest 96: Revolution in Cyberspace documented and allowed
St. Louisans to interacted with that historic event.
Protest96: Revolution in Cyberspace
represents a fusion of the different elements of my professional roles.
As an artist, I was able to recognize the potential of the images sent
out of Belgrade, and mount a professional exhibition to display their visual
beauty. A professor of communication, I understood the historic impact
of this new tool in information technology, and was able to harness it
for as yet an untried application. In the course of these events
a new role emerged for me of “communication artist.” A visual artist
whose work focuses on the communication process itself by creating a forum
where “the medium is the message,” quoting media futurist Marshall McLuhan.
In this role the communication artist is the change agent, the activist,
not the neutral disinterested observer required of journalists. There
is growing interest in my work associated with what is now called “globalization.”
These developments in information technology and Protest96: Revolution
in Cyberspace were reported at the 1997 Annual Meeting of the Association
of Educators of Journalism and Mass Communication. Similarly, my
advanced communication research students are turned on by these areas of
futuristic communication and many of them are seeking careers in this emerging
field or have already become professionally established in more traditional
areas of mass communication.
My professional and intellectual
development has always been more lateral than linear. When I graduated
from Washington University in 1977, I received a BFA in Painting and also
a BA in Eastern European History. Fine Arts and Arts and Sciences
are two separate schools at Washington University. I was the only
student in the School of Fine Arts that year to graduate with a joint degree.
It took six years instead of the usual four to accomplish this. But
then too I had to define myself both as an artist and a humanities scholar.
Similarly, my masters and doctoral degrees at Harvard University were both
associated with children's educational television production and empirical
classroom experiments. Upon joining the Department of Communication
at the University of Missouri-St. Louis in Fall, 1990, I taught courses
having to do with film and television production. I was hired specifically
to teach video production and to develop film programs on the UM - St.
My background is neither in journalism
nor in photojournalism. I was trained as an artist and an educator.
My professional experience in communication spans the seven areas noted
in my introductory paragraph on page 1. In my program Virtual Objectivity,
journalist and former Nieman Fellow, János Horvát says, “news
in Europe is much more ideological than it is in the United States.
Broadcasters in Europe do not pretend to be ‘objective.’” In that
sense my work fits much more into the European model. Some of my
video-work may be criticized for not presenting “both” sides. However,
as an artist I believe it is my role to provoke, to challenge the conventional
wisdom, to poke holes in sacred cows. Accordingly, as an educator
in an academic environment, it is my duty to expose students to new ideas
and approaches that they may never come in contact with in the “real” world.
As a scholar and documentary filmmaker,
professional recognition in both the humanities / social sciences and the
arts required that I develop several separate tracks. They range
from peer reviewed publications; juried and broadcast video programs; and
curated film / video festivals. Part of that process included being
invited to be a member of the international jury for the Mediawave Film
Festival in 1995, and 1996. Resulting from this connection with Mediawave,
I was recently elected to the Advisory Board of the St. Louis Film Festival
(SLFF) and brought the Center for International Studies together with the
During 1996 and 1997, I curated five
film programs at the St. Louis Film Festival of Greek, German, and Hungarian
films; and also two programs of Hungarian films broadcast on the local
PBS station KETC-TV, Channel 9. These activities are associated with
my professional film scholarship and are a continuation of my work curating
East European films during the 1970s (St. Louis Art Museum) and as an IREX
scholar in the 1980s (The Harvard Film Archive).
As we stand at the dawn of a new
millennium, university communication departments everywhere rush to catch
up with the explosions in communication technologies. Most recently,
mass communication experienced the sudden emergence of tens of millions
of private, university, business, and government computers all connected
through communication satellites and the world wide Internet. Suddenly,
the Internet is a network system that can transmit images and sounds from
anywhere on earth to anywhere else on earth near the speed of light.
Within this context, my strength
as an artist, scholar, and teacher is an intimate familiarity with how
images and sounds communicate and illicit responses in viewers and listeners.
I had the opportunity to observe this process in educational television
for American and Eastern European children and also in social and political
changes globally. My immediate and long-term goals are to:
1) continue to build educational partnerships between UM - St. Louis and
it’s counterparts in Eastern Europe. I will be curating an exhibition
of Contemporary Hungarian Art, in Gallery 210 in the year 2000; 2)
report on the strengthening of independent media and democratic free expression
in the United States and overseas. I am curating a symposium on the
“Independent Media in the Former Yugoslavia at UM - St. Louis this Fall
(1998). The event will include a panel discussion and film/video
pieces from and about the former Yugoslavia, and is sponsored by the St.
Louis Film Festival, the Center for International Studies, and the Humanities
Center at UMSL; 3) continue to expand the film / video programs for
UM - St. Louis students and the St. Louis Community; 4) produce educational
television programs for broadcast in the U.S. and Eastern Europe on subjects
ranging from mass communication to the elimination of land mines; and
5) produce a follow-up television program on changes in the Eastern European
Entering the new millennium, we are confronted by an interconnected globe, inundated by auditory and visual stimuli. Challenged by questions addressing the survival of democracy and individual liberty, ordinary citizens are obliged to adapt to an environment of increasing “free-market globalization.” An internationalist with first-hand experience in societal change, I am a communicator who can analyze the potential and broader implications of the new information technologies and an artist who can synthesize and express the ramifications of the other two. These are qualities, critical to the future of the field of Communication and vital to the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri - St. Louis as it expands to meet the challenges of the coming years.
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