Amplified Voices (2001)

Amplified Voices, running time 14 minutes, co-produced and directed by Angela Aguayo and Lauren Banta

In the Spring 2001, a pro-life exhibit was approved for display on the University of Texas campus. The 25-foot pictures of alleged fetuses were erected in a central location of the University grounds. The photographs accompanied written arguments that equated abortion with the genocide of Jewish people during World War II and sparked an intense controversy about free speech on university campuses. In an attempt to hold a counter-demonstration, pro-choice groups on campus were restricted by force from exercising their free speech rights by university police. The film explores the fiery emotions resulting from exercising one of the most continuously controversial issues in the nation—free speech on university campuses.

Screenings:

The New York Underground Film Festival 2002, international film festival, juried

The Cinematexas International Film Festival 2002, international film festival, juried

The Spark Student Film Festival, student film festival juried

The Rhetoric Society of America 10th Biennial Conference

Awards:

2nd Place, The Spark Student Film Festival

Community Engagement:

The film was screened on the University of Texas campus to a group of students, faculty and staff who continued to organize around free speech rights in early 2001. The footage was also used in local news reports to provide a counter narrative to official university statements. The documentary was also viewed at the university student senate hearing regarding the conduct of the University of Texas police. For the past decade, Amplified Voices has been utilized in communication courses to engage with issues of free speech on college campuses.

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