So excited to host our second talk at Cornelia Street Cafe:
At The Cornelia Street Cafe as part of the BODY AS FUNHOUSE MIRROR series
Parasites challenges the notions of body, friend, inside, and out. The word “parasite” comes with loads of vile connotations, but in nature, nothing is purely good or evil. In the 27-minute experimental documentary Parasites: A User’s Guide, Shattuck embarks on a journey to decode some of the most misunderstood creatures on earth. The dramatic rise in autoimmune diseases, asthma, and allergies since the turn of the last century has confounded scientists, but some researchers think they have uncovered the key to controlling the skyrocketing rates: tiny parasitic worms called helminths… Through the seeming oxymoron of the “helpful parasite,” Sharon questions the nature of our relationship with parasites—and suggests a new paradigm for the future.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Shattuck and some friends: Radiolab’s Pat Walters, Scientific American’s Ferris Jabr, helminth researcher Dr. P’ng Loke, and two real life “users” of helminthic therapy. Please join us for the event, and if there are more questions for the panel than the performance can accommodate, we’ll move upstairs to the cafe afterwards!
Sharon Shattuck is a producer/director/animator with Sweet Fern Productions, the production company she founded. Her previous experience includes work with the Smithsonian Institute, the Field Museum, NPR’s On the Media, and internships with WNYC’s Radiolab, and the BBC World Service/Stakeholder Forum. She has an undergraduate degree in forest ecology and a graduate degree in documentary and broadcast journalism. Her first film, the short Parasites: A User’s Guide (2010), was an official selection of the Traverse City Film Festival, the Camden International Film Festival, the Michigan Film Festival, and the International Science Film Festival. In addition to her work with Sweet Fern, she is a member of the creative team at Wicked Delicate Films.
Parasites: A User’s Guide was presented at Observatory in Brooklyn by Morbid Anatomy in 2010.
About the series:
Cornelia Street Cafe and Observatory present a series of Observatory talks in the great borough of Manhattan: BODY AS FUNHOUSE MIRROR: Cultural Reflections On The Human Form. These talks will introduce Observatory to a new audience and give presenters the opportunity to update their work.
Produced by Wythe Marschall and Ted Enik. Originally produced at Observatory by Morbid Anatomy Library’s Joanna Ebenstein. Thanks to our hosts, Cornelia Street Cafe, and our presenters: Amy Herzog, Sharon Shattuck, and Mark Dery.