This free public panel discussion, hosted by The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) and The Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Advanced Media Studies (CAMS), is a multi-faceted exploration of the ways in which spiritual experience is captured and shared through the arts and media. The program is inspired by Tamar Guimarães and Kasper Ahkøj’s film Captain Gervasio’s Family, 2013/2014, on view in the BMA’s Black Box throughout the spring of 2017. The 14-minute, 16-mm, black-and-white film is a meditative look at Palmelo, a town in Brazil in which many of the population are Spiritist mediums who communicate with the dead and engage in psychic healing practices.
Guimarães and Ahkøj will anchor a panel moderated by CAMS Director and documentary filmmaker Dr. Bernadette Wegenstein. The points of view of both practitioners and scholars of different religious and spiritual traditions will be represented on the pane. Panelists will specifically consider whether media—film, photography, music, writing, etc.—can convey spirituality and provide even non-believers with a visceral understanding of spiritual experience.