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Social scientist Redekop to speak on Paraguay at Kauffman Museum

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The final program in a series on Paraguay will feature a lecture by well-known social scientist and writer Calvin W. Redekop at Bethel College’s Kauffman Museum April 25 as part of the Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum Series.

The program begins at 3:30 p.m. in the museum auditorium and is free and open to the public.

Redekop, Harrisonburg, Va., will speak on “Paraguayan Utopia and Reality.” He will contrast the value systems and social structures of native peoples of the Chaco region of Paraguay with those of German-speaking Mennonite immigrants. Interactions between the two groups resulted in misunderstandings and conflicts that were intensified when anthropologists accused the economically successful Mennonites of oppressing their Indian neighbors.

Redekop examined the Paraguayan situation in his 1980 book Strangers Became Neighbors. He will bring a fresh perspective on native-Mennonite relations based on his January 2010 visit to Paraguay.

The lecture will include Redekop’s analysis of the current political and economic situation in Paraguay and practical observations that can promote reconciliation. Redekop will report on efforts, including that of Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), to support micro-enterprise programs that link Paraguayan native peoples, mestizo and other groups wanting to participate in cooperative projects.

The special program is part of the exhibition project “Images of Paraguay” currently on display at the Carriage Factory Gallery in downtown Newton and Kauffman Museum. “Images of Paraguay” at Kauffman Museum includes cultural items created by Paraguay’s native peoples, among them the Moro, Chulupi and Lengua groups. Admission to the display at Kauffman Museum will be free the afternoon of the Redekop lecture.

The exhibition and programs are supported by the Carriage Factory Gallery, Kauffman Museum, Kansas Arts Commission, Kansas Humanities Council and Kansas-Paraguay Partners. For more information about the exhibition and programs, contact Rachel Pannabecker at Kauffman Museum, 316-283-1612.

Carriage Factory Gallery, at 128 E. Sixth Street, Newton, is open noon-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Admission to the Carriage Factory Gallery is free. Kauffman Museum, on the Bethel campus at 27th and North Main, North Newton, is open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1:30-4:30 p.m. weekends. Admission to Kauffman Museum is $4 for adults, $2 for children 6-16 and free to members and children age five and younger.

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