By Regina Baker, Staff Writer-
On Thursday, Oct. 22, UTC faculty and students hosted “Rice Krispies & Representation,” a virtual discussion that focused on the positive and negative representations of marginalized people in horror films.
Assistant Director of the Center for Women and Gender Equality, Lauren Ouwerkerk alongside Lauryn Bond, a UTC student and the Diversity and Intersectionality Chair for the Coalition Advocating for Student Empowerment, hosted the meeting, which was part of the “Desserts and Dialogue” discussion series to talk about the ways in which people of color are represented in horror movies.
Using the documentary “Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror” as the central focus, the event walked students through the history of Black people in horror movies and how they are often placed in stereotypical roles based on their race.
Through the documentary, Ouwerkerk and Bond discussed with attendees how many Black people who work on horror films are there to just do their job but are surprised to discover that they are not the first one to get killed.
Ouwerkerk provided an explanation for what she wished attendees would take away from the event.
“We hope this event would bring those who are interested in the topics together and discuss their favorite horror films and how those films handle representation.” Ouwerkerk said.
During the event, the hosts talked about how actors from marginalized communities are placed in scenarios that are unrealistic to their lived experiences and how this furthers their marginalization. The hosts then talked about how new horror filmmakers are flipping the idea of these tropes and reshaping the genre to be more inclusive and representative of the experiences of marginalized people.
For Ouwerkerk, the event gave hosts and attendees the opportunity to discuss the important topic of representation through a recognizable medium.
“We wanted to have a space to talk about horror films, in a way that recognizes both good and bad in them.” Ouwerkerk said. “Not every one of our favorite movies is an accurate representation of marginalized communities but we hope that by having this conversation we can look at the media we consume with a more critical lens.”
In discussing representation in horror movies, the “Rice Krispies & Representation” event provided attendees with a better understanding of how the genre depicts marginalized people and how audiences can be more critical of these depictions when watching a horror film.
To find more events hosted by the Center for Women and Gender Equity, visit the MocSync website here.