Northwestern Events Calendar


GLOBAL LUNCHBOX | Documenting China’s Trillion-Dollar Creation of a New Silk Road & the Minority Groups in Pakistan Trying to Stop It — A Conversation with Brent Huffman

When: Friday, November 5, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: FREE

Contact: Danny Postel  


Category: Global & Civic Engagement, Academic, Lectures & Meetings


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Please join us for the Global Lunchbox, a weekly conversation convened by the Weinberg College Center for International and Area Studies that features conversations with scholars in the social sciences and humanities working on a range of global issues about their current research.

Our guest this week is Brent Huffman, a documentary filmmaker, director of long-form television programs, and associate professor of journalism at the Medill School at Northwestern. Huffman has spent the last few years interviewing groups like the Uyghur, Baloch Liberation Army, and the Taliban who have been resisting and even fighting back against Chinese economic expansion into their country. He'll show clips from his new documentary for VICE News Tonight called Uyghurs Who Fled China Now Face Repression in Pakistan and will talk about the economic push by China into Afghanistan (another part of China’s New Silk Road plan) and an international effort to save a 5,000-year-old city threatened by a Chinese copper mine. Now that the Taliban have taken over Afghanistan, they are partnering with China to begin open-pit mining, which will destroy the ancient city and permanently pollute the environment. We'll also see clips from Huffman's award-winning documentary Saving Mes Aynak.

At Medill, Huffman teaches documentary theory and production as well as long-form video storytelling at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also advises on local and international student documentary and long-form video projects. He specializes in international documentary filmmaking in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Huffman has directed, produced, written, shot and edited documentaries and long-form videos for a variety of outlets, including The New York Times, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, CNN, TIME, PBS, Al Jazeera and the China Exploration and Research Society. His documentary films have won numerous awards, including a Primetime Emmy, Best Documentary in the Arts and Humanities at the Chicago International Film Festival Television Awards, Best Film at CinemAmbiente International Environmental Film Festival, Grand Prize and Audience Award at Arkhaios Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Festival, Green Spark Award from the American Conservation Film Festival and a Grand Jury Award at American Film Institute’s SILVERDOCS.

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