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Documentary Screening & Panel Discussion “A Spear Through the Heart”

Fantu Demisse, Hachalu Hundessa Foundation; Awol Allo, UCHV and film executive producer; Bruno Sorrentino, director and editor; Wendy Belcher, Comparative Literature and African American Studies

October 27, 2023 · 4:30 pm7:00 pm · A71 Louis A. Simpson Building

Fung Global Fellows Program

This event will feature a screening of the 2022 documentary “A Spear Through the Heart”, which explores the life, legacy and impact of the legendary singer, songwriter, and activist, Hachalu Hundessa, who was assassinated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on June 29th, 2020. Hachalu was a hugely popular Oromo-Ethiopian musician widely viewed by the Oromo people as a symbol of unity and resistance. His evocative songs echoed the hopes and aspirations of the Oromo people and played a pivotal role in the 2014-2018 Oromo protests against the Ethiopian regime.

The documentary chronicles Hachalu’s life and the profound impact of his music on the Oromo quest for self-determination, but it also addresses broader themes of state repression, political violence and the transformative power of music in political mobilization.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Ms. Fantu Demisse (Hundessa’s widow and Chairwomen of the Board of Hachalu Hundessa Foundation), Dr. Awol Allo (Visiting Fellow at UCHV, Fung Global Fellow Alumni ’21, and executive producer of the documentary), and Mr. Bruno Sorrentino (the documentary’s director and editor). The panel will be moderated by Professor Wendy Belcher, Professor of Comparative Literature and African American Studies and Acting Chair, Department of Comparative Literature.

A trailer of the documentary can be found here.

Event co-sponsors: University Center for Human ValuesDepartment of Comparative LiteraturePIIRS, Program in African StudiesFung Glolbal Fellows ProgramAfrica World Initiative

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