John Lennon and Yoko Ono are making their way to campus — in art form that is.
Not only will Virginia Tech be screening “The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” on campus, but “My Mommy is Beautiful,” an exhibit by Ono, will be on display at the Armory Gallery.
Lennon, whose anti-war remarks, “Nothing will stop me. I’ll always say what I feel,” served as the basis of the 2006 documentary, which highlights the Vietnam War.
Tech’s School of Visual Arts will be hosting the upcoming event, screening “The U.S. vs. John Lennon,” in the Graduate Life Center at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12.
Despite the film being released over six years ago, the concerns about anti-war protestors and government surveillance remain prevalent issues today.
Kevin Concannon, director of SOVA and organizer of the event, sees Lennon’s message as especially fitting with the current political climate.
“John Lennon and Yoko Ono believed they had the power to rally the youth,” Concannon said. “And with all the talk about Syria and the anti-war effort, it’s a very timely event.”
The film reflects on time during the 1960s and 70s when Lennon and his wife, Ono, traveled across the world rallying support for anti-war activism. “War is over, if you want it,” became the movement’s motto.
In 1969, Lennon attracted international attention when he and Ono married. The couple held their much-publicized “bed-ins” in Amsterdam and Montreal, where they gave interviews about peace from under their nuptial sheets.
The U.S. government, under former President Richard Nixon’s administration, quickly began making efforts to silence Lennon and his followers. Phone tapping and attempts at deportation were just a few of the tactics the FBI utilized against Lennon and Ono.
The film’s screening occurs in coordination with two other events happening near the Blacksburg area. Ono’s exhibit “My Mommy is Beautiful” is running in Tech’s Amory Gallery from Sept. 10 to Oct. 1. In addition to this, an “Imagine Peace” installation at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke also begins this week and will run through January.
Mary Kate Claytor, a graduate student studying material culture and public humanities has helped with the exhibition installation and design.
“Students should definitely come to the openings and come look at the artwork,” Claytor said.
This is the event’s seventh showing at Tech and it will make its way to Florida upon leaving Blacksburg.
Whether taking the time to see the film or simply stopping by to view the exhibit, there will be a little bit of Lennon and Ono available for everyone to experience this week.