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‘Comedy and Conversations’ celebrates the Atlanta arrival of puppet Little Amal
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Emily Knight
Collage of headshots for Angel Contreras, David Perdue, Arturo Lindsay, Munir Meghjani, Gilbert Lawand and Alpa Amin.

“Comedy and Conversations” at Emory’s Carlos Museum on Sept. 27 will feature (top row, l-r) Angel Contreras, David Perdue, Arturo Lindsay, (bottom row, l-r) Munir Meghjani, Gilbert Lawand and Alpa Amin.

Little Amal, the 12-foot-tall puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl, soon will arrive in Atlanta as part of her trek to 15 countries and 35 U.S. towns and cities to bring her message of hope and solidarity for displaced people everywhere.

To celebrate her arrival, the Michael C. Carlos Museum and Emory Libraries will present an event focused on the plight of the ever-growing refugee population.

“Comedy and Conversations” — a critical, concerned and sometimes comic look at the world around us — will be held at the Carlos Museum on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. Registration is required.

Prior to the program, attendees can view the Carlos Museum’s exhibition “You Belong Here: Place, People and Purpose in Latinx Photography” from  6-7:30 p.m.

Comedian David Perdue and social curator/activist Munir Meghjani host “Comedy and Conversations.” Understanding that comedy can be provocative as well as productive, they founded “Comedy and Conversations” to focus on the human and sometimes absurd aspects of difficult issues.

The Sept. 27 program is designed to bring attention and action to Little Amal’s expression of hope.

“Complex topics have become more depressing or contentious. We wanted to experiment with having difficult conversations that were engaging and productive, that allowed us to come together, find common ground and, perhaps, even some joy and laughter. As an immigrant with deep ties to the refugee community, these topics are both personal to me and momentous in our society today,” says Meghjani.

Participants in “Comedy and Conversations” will include:

Alpa Amin

A leading voice in public interest immigration law in Georgia, Amin serves as executive director of Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network (GAIN). Amin has worked with GAIN since 2008, during which time she built and managed the Victims of Violence program serving Georgia’s immigrant survivors of human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault, and served as GAIN’s first director of legal services before taking on the top executive role. She is a past chair of the Georgia Immigration Collaborative and the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Task Force, where she helped create the groundbreaking Statewide Labor Trafficking Roundtable and Report.

Angel Contreras

Contreras is an Atlanta-based up-and-coming comedian. She is a regular at the Laughing Skull Lounge and has performed across the country and internationally. Her comedy touches on her Mexican American upbringing, her day job, witchcraft and more. When she’s not on stage, she’s in court defending the public.

Gilbert Lawand

An Atlanta-based comedian whose style is a mix of social commentary and silliness drawn from a unique background, Lawand was born in Baghdad to Catholic parents before moving to a small town in south Georgia, where he grew up on a farm. He’s opened large theater shows for Dave Chappelle, Eric Andre, Aziz Ansar and Tom Segura, and performed in several festivals including the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, High Plains Comedy Festival and the Laughing Skull Festival (where he was a finalist). He also produces the annual Red Clay Comedy Festival in Atlanta.

Arturo Lindsay

Lindsay is an artist/cultural investigator/educator whose work is informed by the scholarly research he conducts on African spiritual and aesthetic retentions, rediscoveries and reinventions in America. His research findings are manifested in works of art, as well as books, scholarly essays and lectures. A proud native of Colon, a seaport city on the Caribbean coast of the Republic of Panama, Lindsay migrated to the United States with his family at age 12 and settled in Brooklyn, New York.

Munir Meghjani

A progressive thinker and a social and civic entrepreneur, Meghjani has used his professional experience and community engagement to make connections and bring together diverse groups in Atlanta and across the Southeast. He is the executive producer and host of the podcast “Real Tall Tales,” a broker with Sands Investment Group and president of the Emory Alumni Board. A serial entrepreneur and commercial real estate broker, Meghjani is also deeply involved in the nonprofit sector focused on arts, education, interfaith and justice. The mantra he adopted at an early age is, “I can’t do all the service the world needs, but the world needs all the service I can do.”

David Perdue

Perdue is an Atlanta comedian who has appeared on Comedy Central, FuseTV, EPIX and Kevin Hart’s LOL Network. He is also an actor appearing in “Love Is . . .” on OWN and Bobcat Goldthwait’s “Misfits and Monsters” on truTV. Perdue co-hosts the sports/comedy podcast “Forth and Ten” as well as the political/comedy podcast “The Confused Caucus.” In 2022, he was selected as an Arts and Social Justice Fellow at Emory University. Perdue is many things, but most important, he is not a former U.S. senator.

About Emory Libraries

Ranked among the top 20 Association of Research Libraries in North America, Emory Libraries serves as an interdisciplinary, intellectual commons for campuses in Atlanta and Oxford, Georgia, with more than 5.8 million volumes and 430,000 electronic journals, 1.8+ million e-books and internationally renowned collections.

About the Michael C. Carlos Museum

Set in the heart of Emory’s Atlanta campus, the Michael C. Carlos Museum is a dynamic, interdisciplinary center for study of art and culture, with collections from Africa, ancient Egypt, Nubia and the Near East, ancient Greece and Rome, the Indigenous Americas, South Asia, and American and European Works on Paper.

Through its permanent collection galleries, engaging special exhibitions and innovative programs for audiences of all ages, the Carlos Museum connects the past with the present and the campus with the community.

Museum educators reach across the museum, campus and city to develop opportunities to engage the intellect and the imagination of university students and faculty, pre-K-12 students and teachers and the larger Atlanta community.

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