This program will feature local women and queer activists who work towards social change and explore legacies of social justice organizing.
Most grassroots activism in Chicago is led by women and queer communities of color, yet their work and legacy are often obscured, erased and overlooked. This program will feature local women and queer activists who work towards social change and explore the continuums in social justice organizing. How are these are remembered, documented, made visible and archived? We will take this opportunity to highlight the local Chicago submissions to the Arte Útil project and to reflect on the possibilities of the archive.
On December 10, 1931 Jane Addams became the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace prize. In 2007, the State of Illinois set aside December 10 as a holiday to remember Addams’ lifelong commitment to peace and justice. Jane Addams Day is an opportunity to celebrate the Hull-House progressive tradition and to bring people together who are working towards peace and justice.
This program is inspired by the current exhibition “Arte Útil.” “Arte Útil”, as defined by artist Tania Bruguera, is “an idea of art as a tool for social change”. Initiated by Bruguera, the Asociación de Arte Útil is a growing international network of people and activities that promote this idea. The project exists primarily as a growing online archive of hundreds of case studies from around the world that exemplify the concept of “Arte Útil” across categories such as urban development, science, economy, environment, and education. The archive is activated through exhibitions, meetings and exchanges that further interrogate the idea of ‘useful art’.
This Chicago iteration of the Arte Útil Archive is presented within the former library of the historic Hull-House, reactivating the room as resource for local neighborhood groups, artists and activists to exchange knowledge that may prove useful in the local context. “Arte Útil” (9 Sep, 2019–05 Jan, 2020) is commissioned by the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial, “…and other such stories”, curated by Yesomi Umolu, Sepake Angiama and Paulo Tavares.