The documentary film “Forbidden Voices,” which focuses on three female bloggers who are activists for human rights in their homelands and the consequences they face, will be shown at Hope College on Monday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre in downtown Holland.

The public is invited.  Admission is free.

The film centers on Yoani Sanchez from Cuba, Zeng Jinyan from China and Farnaz Seifi from Iran.  Attesting to the Internet’s potential for building international awareness and political pressure, it traces each woman’s use of social media to denounce and combat violations of human rights and violations of free speech in her home country.  It also reports on the price that each has paid, noting that Sanchez has been beaten and arrested, Jinyan placed under house arrest, and Seifi arrested and forced into exile.

The screening is sponsored by the college’s Markets & Morality student organization, and the event’s student organizers will be making remarks at the beginning of the evening to provide context and background.  The film is being presented in conjunction with the NEA Big Read Lakeshore, which began in October and is visiting the Caribbean and specifically the Dominican Republic of the late 1950s and early 1960s to explore the roles of story, memory, revolution and obedience.

The Markets & Morality student organization at Hope College aims to support and celebrate freedom of expression in the context of the liberal arts by hosting speakers and films on topics spanning the economic, political and cultural aspects of human civilization, with a special concern for human flourishing as understood in Christian perspective.  Co-sponsors of the Nov. 18 screening include the college’s Asian Studies Program, Center for Global Engagement, Global Studies Program, Phelps Scholars Program, Department of Political Science, Department of Religion, Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

The NEA Big Read Lakeshore is exploring Julia Alvarez’ books “In the Time of the Butterflies” and, for middle-grade readers, “Before We Were Free,” and is running alongside the Little Read Lakeshore, which is focused on the children’s picture book “The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!,” written by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin.  Together through Dec. 3, they are featuring more than 60 events across the area for people of all ages, including film screenings, art exhibitions, a themed dinner, activity-events for children and multiple book discussions throughout the area that are open to the public.  More information is available at

Audience members who need assistance to fully enjoy any event at Hope are encouraged to contact the college's Events and Conferences Office by emailing or calling 616-395-7222 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

                        The Knickerbocker Theatre is located at 86 E. Eighth St., between College and Columbia avenues.