Not just one day of dialogue
Thursday, October 25th, 2012, University of Montana’s University Center held its annual “Day of Dialogue”. This day features talks throughout the day that raise important questions and conflicts. Talks cover race, violence, communication, and different cultures.
“Death of a Maiden” was the hot topic in room 326. Clary Loisel lead the discussion by using the play, and movie, “Death of a Maiden” by Ariel Dofman. It tells the story of character Paulina, who is raped when she is young. The clip we watched in Thursday’s discussion showed her seeking revenge on her alleged rapist. She ties him to a chair, and leaves the audience with an ambiguous ending, since we do not know if she kills her rapist or not.
This play brought up themes of forgiveness, violence, and justice. It begs the question; can you forgive somebody who has harmed you? With a crowd of about seventy people, mainly from Spanish classes or anyone who was interested, various ideas were bought up. Discussion leader, Clary Loisel asked the group what we thought about violence, and closure.
Eye for an eye? Simple forgiveness?
The closure needed for every individual is different. Sometimes emotional and physical damage cannot fully be healed by simply moving on.
UM students have asked these questions several times in the past year. With sexual assault being present in today’s culture and on campus, too many women have had to deal with the same struggles as Paulina in “Death of a Maiden”. If you are sexually assaulted, how will you deal with it, other than legally?
UM’s Day of Dialogue got students started, with a conversation that matters in everyday life. Girls on our campus, along with campuses nationwide, struggle with dealing with the reactions to violence. Emotional and physical abuses are tough subjects to discuss, yet with the prompt of this Chilean movie, students were able to easily talk about their views on how a victim should deal with these types of conflicts. The day of Dialogue is not just for one day. The conversations continue.