A week-long series of events coinciding with Buzzsaw Magazine’s March issue will tackle the concept of militarization and commemorate the anniversary of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s coining of the term “military-industrial complex.”
The events were planned in collaboration with IC Human Rights and the Park Center for Independent Media, and will take place March 7-10. Senior Jacquelyn Simone, Buzzsaw’s News and Views editor, said she hopes the combination of the militarization issue, which hits the stands this week, and events next week will create a stimulating dialogue across campus.
Simone said she came up with the theme for this month’s issue and events after taking “Militarization of Everyday Life” with Kelly Dietz, assistant professor of politics.
“We were discussing the military-industrial complex, and I didn’t realize that the term had been coined 50 years ago,” she said. “It seemed really salient to commemorate the anniversary with a retrospective of where we are now versus where Eisenhower had warned that we might end up.”
Sophomore Emily Miles, website manager of Buzzsaw, said the magazine will cover the impacts of militarization on corporations and military families.
“How much are our daily lives affected by this military-industrial complex?” she said. “And how much do we actually know about it? We’re going to tackle it head on.”
Simone said the goal of Buzzsaw’s militarization-themed events is to bring students and organizations across campus together to discuss the issue and ensure every individual voice is heard.
“We said that if we were going to do an issue themed on militarization, we wanted to collaborate with other student groups to put together an entire series of events to really analyze the issue outside the pages of the magazine,” she said.
The first Buzzsaw militarization event on March 7 is a screening by IC Human Rights, of which Simone is co-president, of “Restrepo.” The documentary, which was nominated for an Academy Award this year, is about a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Miles said the screening is the perfect way to introduce the issue.
“The film is very popular right now and is a basic understanding of the ideas of the military-industrial complex,” she said. “It’s a chance for anyone who doesn’t have a great understanding of the complex to get an overview the first night.”
On March 8, the Park Center for Independent Media will sponsor a seminar about current U.S. security and surveillance infrastructures with John Stauber, founder of the Center for Media and Democracy, and Lisa Graves, executive director of the center, which prides itself on neutralizing propaganda and public relations spin.
Graves said it’s important for citizens to consider how their tax dollars are being spent and whether or not expanding national security funding is justified.
“There are real issues about the expanded infrastructure and the cost, in terms of both the budget and individual liberty,” Graves said. “Why is so much money being spent on certain things versus other things? It’s an important conversation to be having.”
On March 9, a panel hosted by IC Progressive Discourse Project will give students the opportunity to hear from local veterans about the lasting personal effects of militarization. The week will wrap up March 10 with a gallery night.
Miles said the series of events do not necessarily indicate that the publication is advocating for or against the “military industrial complex” but is a continuation of what the magazine has been doing all along.
“Buzzsaw has never been afraid to express alternative views and those that are less likely to be discussed on a daily basis on campus,” Miles said. “Not necessarily as an advocacy magazine — that wouldn’t be our point. It’s more to bring up the discussion of something that’s often avoided.”
Simone said the militarization issue of Buzzsaw and the event series will include as many viewpoints on the subject as possible in order to get the college community thinking.
“One of the beauties of a magazine is that you don’t have to always be completely objective,” she said. “We would be deceiving the audience if we claimed that our journalists were going to be so invested in the articles but then somehow come out of it without having an opinion either way.”
For more information including events times and locations visit http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=165353043515187&ref=ts.