EcoTarium Presents Documentary Film Screening Highlighting Afghan Women Bicycle Riders to Commemorate Closing of GEAR UP: The Science of Bikes Exhibit on Saturday, January 4

Worcester, Mass. – December 30, 2019 The EcoTarium museum of science and nature is thrilled to announce a special event to close out the final weekend of GEAR UP: The Science of Bikes exhibit on Saturday, January 4, 5-8:00 p.m. The museum will host a screening of Afghan Cycles, an award-winning documentary full-length film about a generation of Afghan women who are pedaling their own revolution, challenging gender barriers and finding freedom on two wheels. Immediately following the screening will be a question and answer session with the filmmakers Anna Brones and Tony Hale, as well as WooRides co-founder Ali Soofi and American Women’s Cycling Network founder Monique Trammell. The event will begin with a cocktail hour from 5-6 p.m., including traditional Afghan appetizers from Worcester-based Pomir Grill, and activities featuring organizers and info on the Worcester area’s vibrant bike community. The subtitled film’s run time is 90 minutes and recommended for ages 8+. Afghan Cycles uses the bicycle to tell a story of women’s rights – human rights – and the struggles faced by Afghan women on a daily basis, from discrimination to abuse, to the oppressive silencing of their voices in all aspects of contemporary society. Tickets may be purchased in advance online or directly at the EcoTarium. Sunday, January 5 is the final day of the GEAR UP: The Science of Bikes exhibit, a clip of the film will be shown, followed by another question and answer session with the filmmakers. From 11 a.m.-1 p.m., the EcoTarium will offer bike-related table top activities featuring organizers and info on the Worcester area’s vibrant bike community. The event is free with admission.

“This is such a wonderful opportunity to bring the community together around the theme of our science of bikes exhibit,” shared Lucy Hale, EcoTarium president and CEO. “It is important to our institution to broaden the lens by which we engage, educate and connect our visitors, especially around powerful stories, such as the ones highlighted in Afghan Cycles.”

GEAR UP: The Science of Bikes at the EcoTarium is sponsored by MathWorks and United Bank. The exhibit is included with general admission to the museum. Since its inception in the late 19th century, the bicycle has affected how people live, work, and play. Visitors learn how bikes work; what the history/evolution of the bike is; the science and technology behind the machine; and how bikes have impacted our culture. Like the bicycle itself, the exhibit has been designed to appeal to people of all ages and with diverse interests, from STEM to design to history to art.

Afghan Cycles follows members of the National Cycling Team in Kabul, and young riders in the Bamiyan region who are using mountain bikes to commute to school and run errands. These women ride despite cultural barriers, despite infrastructure, and despite death threats, embracing the power and freedom that comes with the sport. Afghan Cycles is a film by Let Media and premiered at Hot Docs in Toronto in 2018.