Film explores masculinity

2017-08-15 06:02

Learning in Reach, a non profit organisation working in Lavender Hill, is inviting the community to join them to watch a film to gain a better understanding of how society is failing boys and men through a narrow definition of “masculinity” and the expectations placed on them.

The NPO, in collaboration with Open Design Cape Town, will present free screenings of Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In at Levana Primary School Hall in Lavender Hill.

The screening will be on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 August from 14:00 to 16:30.

The screenings form part of the Open Design Cape Town Festival which will be held from Sunday 13 to Saturday 19 August at Cape Town City Hall, followed by events and activations at other venues throughout the city from Saturday 19 until Friday 25 August.

The festival, now in its fifth year, brings together an extended community of African and international thinkers, innovators, designers, entrepreneurs, educators, students and members of the public for a series of experiences, talks, workshops, exhibitions and more.

According to Leanne Reid of Learning in Reach, Miss Representation is an eye-opening look at how society portrays women and girls in mainstream media and leadership roles. “The media is selling young people the idea that girls’ and women’s value lies in their youth, beauty, and sexuality and not in their capacity as leaders. Boys learn that their success is tied to dominance, power and aggression. These gender stereotypes play out in our relationships and are arguably playing a catastrophic role in the high levels of gender violence we are experiencing,” says Reid.

In comparison, The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. “In the film, pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become ‘real’ men. Experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media also weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the ‘boy crisis’ and tactics to combat it. The Mask You Live In ultimately illustrates how we, as a society, can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men,” says Reid.

Following each screening there will be a panel discussion and Q&A session asking questions such as:

. What impact does this have on women/men?

. What are the changes you would want to see happen in communities on the Cape Flats, including Lavender Hill?

. How we can use this to redesign our communities on the Cape Flats, including Lavender Hill?

. What can you do as an individual, NGO, media representative or business to increase positive representation and to better support our boys and men?

Both films are for viewers over 18 years only. The screenings are free, however viewers are encouraged to book via Quicket to secure their seat. Limited tickets will be available at the door.

Open Design is open to everyone, whether they are new to design or already see design and innovation as critical to designing a better future world. While some festival events are ticketed, most events are free to attend.

Suné Stassen, the co-founder, festival and programme director of Open Design, says: “The City Activation programme plays a vital role in designing a valuable ecosystem that aspires to develop a culture of change makers that embraces innovation and entrepreneurship; develop human capital and add value to socio-economic development.”

Festival partners include the City of Cape Town, the Cape Craft and Design Institute, Aurecon, Umalusi and Cape Town Tourism, among others.

V For more information contact hello@­ For a full festival programme visit or follow @opendesignct on Twitter or Instagram and Opendesignct on Facebook. Use the hashtag #ODCT2017 to spread the word.


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