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Comments on "The ABC of ROFFEKE" Screenings (September 2015 at iHub)

I liked all the films especially the one for Superman [“This is Joe”] and the last one which was longer [“ Frontman ”]. I look forward to at...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Research Symposium, A Film Screening and World Philosophy Day

Today, 16th November, is World Philosophy Day. Tomorrow, 17th November, there is a Business and Philosophy ROFFEKE screening at Metta. On the 14th, I attended the Strathmore University Research Symposium for the first time. As luck (or fate) would have it, the sessions I attended were quite philosophically inclined:

"School Fires and General Indiscipline, treat cause not symptoms" by Patrick Kibui

Mr. Kibui pointed out that part of the problem was that students are domesticated rather than educated. Pink Floyd's song, "Another brick in the wall" comes to mind:

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone
All in all it's just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall


It's interesting that in the music video of the song, there is a school fire!



Part of Mr. Kibui's abstract reads: "The attitudes of teachers have influenced the character formation of students at all levels leading to creating a society of very learned people with limited education."

One of the films submitted to ROFFEKE is titled "Cor". A boy is studying at home, at night. A figurine waves at him - up,down, up, down - but the boy does not notice it or chooses to ignore it. He throws his pen on the desk in frustration. He looks behind him, checking whether he will be seen, then he switches on the radio. He sways to the music,eyes closed, figurine still waving - up, down, up, down. He opens a CD case. Suddenly, he pays attention to the waving figurine. He picks it up,stares at it. Behind him, his mother looks at him looking at the waving figurine.All she has to do is nod at the figurine and the boy places it back on the desk and switches off the radio.

"Have you finished them yet?" The boy replies that he is not going to do them. An argument ensues. Finally,the boy asks:"What are you going to do, take me back there again?"

In the next scene, students sit in a class, uniform, stiff and orderly. They are all dressed in the same dark colour but the boy is wearing a bright yellow jacket. He is slumped on the desk, looking bored. The teacher is talking about a list of equations: "Most of them are very similar to the ones we worked on last week."

Cue creepy music."Very similar." The teacher says this over and over again as he waves, his actions eerily similar to that of the waving figurine. "Just like all of you." One by one,the other students copy the teacher's motions. Up,down, up,down....Watch what happens next.



The movie ends with this quote:

"Our education system is focused on batch-cloning pupils. It should do the opposite: discovering the unique talents of each." - Ken Robinson.

The next speaker was Esther Kariuki. She presented on "Perception of the Role of Aesthetics in Daily Living Among University Students in Kenya." She quoted Aristotle's and Aquinas' definition of beauty. Aquinas saw brightness as a component of beauty while Aristotle saw ordeliness as a component of beauty. During the Q and A session, these two perceptions were questioned.

One attendee pointed out that there is a certain beauty in the chaos that is the Kenyan transport system.I agree with him. There is a certain beauty that can be found even in chaos. Case in point: during last Saturday's Nairobi Metal Festival, there was "chaos" in the mosh pit but I saw the beauty in that chaos: kids from  different tribes and different races, moshing together in harmony. (Read more about it here).

One of the films submitted to ROFFEKE - Sandeep Kumar's "Tints and Shades" captures the beauty in the chaos of an open air market in India.



I am a big fan of the Japanese concept of Wabi Sabi. I am sure many goths can relate. Aquinas considered brightness an important element of beauty. As a goth, I must add that there is also beauty in the darker colours. Jillian Venters,author of "The Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and those who love them" talks about the gothic aestheic here:



I suggested that for further research, perhaps the African definition of beauty could be looked into, for example, from African proverbs, traditional songs, etc.

The next speaker was Wokorach Raphael p'Mony who presented on "Aristotle and St. Thomas on Magnanimity: Seminary agenda for servant-leadership". It was an insightful presentation and what stood out for me was "justice is the excellence of the soul".

ROFFEKE will continue to pursue magnanimity through its motto: Friendship, Fun, Freedom.

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