DSPP Arts

The DSPP Arts Committee was created in 1996 by Judith Samson, Ph.D. The idea emerged while she was serving on the Community Relations Committee. Her intent was to engage interested DSPP members in a variety of artistic activities and explore the psychological/psychoanalytic underpinnings. The artistic spheres have included cinematic, performance, literary and studio arts, and participation has always provided a rich environment for fun, connection, and discussion.

The Arts Committee is devoted to enriching life experience through increasing the appreciation, interpretation, and comprehension of artistic personalities and the meaning of their creative expression from a psychoanalytic perspective. As Pablo Picasso stated, "The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place...from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a spider's web." Art stirs internal responses and evokes questions that arouse a desire in us to understand those feelings and questions.

What is an artist trying to express? What needs of the artist are being met through creative expression? Is art, without the limitation of words, a truer expression of human feelings? Does expression assuage emotional response or resonance in the viewers or audience? Is art a truer expression of human capacities and desire without the impediments of intellectualizations that can betray the heart? The DSPP Arts program will enhance our lives and our life stories, and nurture our aesthetic experiences. The beauty of art reaches deeply into the human heart and mind, and takes on an importance in human and professional development. Hence, DSPP is committed to providing artistic experiences to members, colleagues, and friends.

Angelica M.D. Tratter, Ph.D., chair



Today's Special is a 2009 independent film adapted from an Off-Broadway play (Sakina's Restaurant). The script was adapted by Aasif Mandvi, a British-American actor and popular comedian of Indian descent, who also wrote the play and stars in the leading role. The film won the "Best of the Fest Award" at the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The film is a lighthearted, charming and entertaining comedy, a 'feel-good fable', that pays tribute to many relevant cultural tropes, such as father-son conflict, within-group marriage expectations, personal and family ambitions, mentorship and professional success, as well as the role of religion and spirituality. The plot's fated twists and turns give a good picture of the typical challenges that Indian-Americans of first and second generations face as they make their home and life in this country.

India has in its own right an immensely rich and fascinating cultural tradition. It also was the largest former colony, known as 'the Jewel in the Crown' for the British Empire during its colonial rule. In contemporary America, Indian immigrants are often considered a "model minority", given that Indian Americans undergo a performance oriented childhood (as evidenced also in the scores of spelling bee champions year after year), and are generally on average highly accomplished and financially successful. Moreover, it is Indian Americans who have the highest median household income in the nation. This apparent success story, however, harbors its own shadow as it can lead to being taken for granted and not receiving assistance when needed. Additionally, questions of a 'postcolonial identity' and being part of the larger group of 'people of color' will also be of interest and concern for our discussion.

Watching the Film: Attendees are encouraged to stream the film on their own time. We will gather for the discussion only, during which our invited discussants will share their knowledge and experiences with us.

Location of the Discussion: We will meet on the lush grounds of Stonebriar Country Club, in a generously sized covered outdoor patio that is reserved for us in the downstairs area of the main building. The Club is located on 5050 Country Club Drive in South Frisco (off Legacy Drive, near Dallas North Tollway and Sam Rayburn Tollway). Parking is all along the main building.

Fee: $20 which covers food and drinks (and CEU's).