For many students, this is the last semester at AAU, while some have just entered this exciting time of their life. Others have recently returned from their semester abroad, just like Rita Puhto, who upon her return started a new club. Similarly, the Documentary Club opened the new semester with a mind-expanding movie that enriched the club members’ view on the world.
The AAU Documentary Club is a place for opinions to be shared and discussed, according to Puhto, the club’s President. “I wanted to create a space for AAU people where they can come and speak their mind on various issues that I think are both interesting and important to know about. All this in an informal way,” she explained.
Puhto, herself, comes from an international environment where she has been exposed to situations ranging from environmental destruction, social injustice, and various cultural backgrounds.
The club’s weekly sessions will feature documentaries dealing with “our connections and understanding of mankind history and our place in it,” said Abdala Chabayta, the Vice-President of the club.
The first documentary, shown on February 17 – with more than 20 students attending the screening – was the 2015 Andrew Morgan’s “True Cost.”
The movie discusses the fast fashion industry and its impacts on the environment, local communities, and it’s members. It shows how the industry focuses solely on profits earned, disregarding the needs of the environment and human rights.
The cast includes Stella McCartney, an English fashion designer, and Richard Wolff, an American economist, each presenting their views on the issues throughout the documentary. For McCartney, designing, she believes, can produce even more beautiful products without harming the planet. For Wolff, change of economic system is necessary, and without it, the system that exploits countries and makes “the richer even richer” would not change.
After the screening, students had a chance to talk about the movie. “It made me want to rebel more than ever,” opened the discussion an AAU student, who expressed gratitude for organizing the Friday’s session as the movie showed her the “dark side” of the clothing industry.
Questions, whether materialism and increased consumption could lead to lasting happiness, were brought up several times. “Connections that go beyond the material,” is according to one student something that could help us achieve that. After all, “the change starts with us,” concluded an AAU Humanities student, Klara Chmelarova.