By Our Love: Exposing Paradox in Political Tribalism

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The creators of “By Our Love,” an animated short video produced by Greenhouse Studios, will facilitate a dialogue in partnership with the Encounters Series, titled “Paradox in Political Tribalism,” which will be held virtually via Zoom on February 4, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.

Released on January 22nd, “By Our Love” is a thought-provoking animated short set to professor of music Earl MacDonald’s jazz ensemble arrangement of the hymn, “They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.” MacDonald’s single, also titled “By Our Love,” is now available on all major music streaming platforms through the label Outside in Music. 

The nine-minute-long animation features several biblical quotations representing commonly accepted Judeo-Christian virtues, alongside imagery conceptualized by Cora Lynn Deibler, professor of illustration, to raise questions about the state of contemporary Christianity and its relationship to the polarized political climate currently dividing the United States. Production team members included illustrator Hal Tedeschi and animators Carly Wanner-Hyde & Miles Waterbury. The animation was produced by Greenhouse Studios Design Technologists Tom Lee and Brooke Foti Gemmell

The team’s goal of aligning emotionally powerful, musical moments with equally potent imagery led to the creation of images and text prompts which interact with the music, to enhance, reinforce, and expand the ideas set forth in the music. Produced over the last ten months as a completely virtual collaboration, the animation features work by student artists and serves as a springboard for thoughtful contemplation, discussion, dialogue, and commentary.

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Rather than the common panel discussion with the standard audience question and answer period, “Paradox in Political Tribalism,” will foster a more audience-inclusive dialogue using individual breakout rooms to encourage and reflect upon group discussions about the ideas which arise from the music and their relationship to contemporary Christianity. This dialogue will be open to all members of the UConn community and is capped at 50 participants. Participants can register here.