“This photo features three of UNH’s best dancers, Emily Shafritz (facing forward), Emily Wozer (facing to the back) and Lily Neher (far right), as they practice in New Hampshire Hall. I am on the left recording a piece choreographed by the dancers and set to an original song of mine. My collaborator Liese Zahabi (Art and Art History) took the photograph and handled an equal portion of the recording process.
“This piece is part of a three-part series of music and dance videos that Liese and I produced as part of the We Hold These Truths grant program through COLA. Two of the pieces focus on the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. capitol. A third piece is based on a composition I recorded for a documentary film Tom Jackson (Communication) is producing, which features interviews with theologian Martin Rumscheidt, whose father worked for the Nazis.
“This photo highlights the way I integrate arts-based practices into my media scholarship. For this project, I leverage music composition, choreography and video production as methods of inquiry to examine the nature of truth in the context of widespread disinformation. The premise of this project is that, with regard to the most meaningful questions we might ask, we must understand truth as a relational process — a shared narrative that reflects common values. The creative arts are especially effective in expressing this understanding of truth because of their capacity to integrate imagination and emotion with logic and reason. I am currently drafting a book chapter on arts-based media scholarship in which this project will appear as a case study. While that chapter will reach a primarily academic audience, the final videos will reach a much wider audience and will (hopefully) create an opportunity for reflection on political violence and racial inequality as well as our shared capacity for compassion and forgiveness.”
—Kevin Healey, Associate Professor of Communication