Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Tom Felton film unearths ‘epic story’ of female archaeologist

He is one of the most recognisable actors in the world, known for his role as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise. But now Tom Felton wants to use his platform to spotlight someone whose historical achievements have been obscured for decades.

Felton has produced his first feature film, Canyon Del Muerto, recounting the story of Ann Axtell Morris, one of the US’s first female archaeologists, who worked with the Navajo in the 1920s to uncover North America’s earliest civilisation, the Anasazi.

“It’s an epic story that hasn’t been told before,” Felton said. “Ann Morris was only recently acknowledged as a credible archaeologist, even though she set the tone for the next 100 years of young women having the opportunity to enter the field.”

The film, expected to be released this spring, also stars Felton as Morris’s husband, Earl, who is often cited as the model for George Lucas’s Indiana Jones character. It explores how Morris’s accomplishments were overshadowed by her husband’s fame and prejudices against women.

The film was the first to be granted access to shoot in the sacred and culturally significant landscape of Canyon de Chelly on Navajo tribal lands in Arizona. It has been praised by Jonathan Nez, the president of the Navajo Nation, who called it “an extraordinary showcase of our land, our people and our culture”.

Read more here at The Guardian

Monday, January 2, 2023

Dorothy Pitman Hughes, pioneering feminist who co-founded Ms. Magazine, dies at 84

From NBC News:
Dorothy Pitman Hughes, a pioneering Black feminist, child welfare advocate and activist who co-founded Ms. Magazine with Gloria Steinem, formed a powerful speaking partnership with her and appeared with her in one of the most iconic photos of the feminist movement, has died. She was 84.

Hughes died Dec. 1 in Tampa, Florida, at the home of her daughter and son-in-law, said Maurice Sconiers of the Sconiers Funeral Home in Columbus, Georgia. The home said it did not know the cause of death.

Hughes was not as well known as Steinem, but the two forged an important partnership at a time when feminism was viewed as a very white, middle-class movement. Steinem credited Hughes with helping her become comfortable speaking in public.

In one of the most famous photos of the movement, taken in October 1971, the two raised their right arms in the Black Power salute.

Hughes, a pioneering voice in child care, organized the first shelter for battered women in New York City and co-founded the New York City Agency for Child Development.

She met Steinem in 1968, according to a biography on the Ms. Magazine website, when Steinem, then a journalist, was writing a story for New York Magazine about Pitman Hughes’ child care center. From 1969 to 1973, they spoke across the country at college campuses, community centers and other venues on gender and race issues.

Hughes was born Dorothy Jean Ridley on Oct. 2, 1938, in Lumpkin, Georgia, her family wrote in an obituary posted by the funeral home.