Feb 20th 2020

Hosted by Salome Skvirsky (UChicago) with Patricia R. Zimmermann (Ithaca College), and Andrew Friend (filmmaker)

Citizens and communities approach issues surrounding job opportunities, occupations, wages, unemployment, and underemployment in a myriad of ways. They engage in union organizing. They reclaim stories about what is not spoken, repressed, or suppressed. They launch political protests. Wages of Work spotlights people from across the United States operating under various restraints on making a living. Focusing on labor and work, this program showcases shorts like I’m NOT on the Menu, which profiles Chicago fast-food workers marching on McDonald’s headquarters during a nationwide walkout to protest sexual harassment, and Los Trabajadores, made by Scribe and CATA (El Comite de Apoyo a Los Trabajadores Agricolas), which reveals the day-to-day experiences of mushroom farm laborers in Pennsylvania.

Program includes:
Finally Got the News (League of Revolutionary Black Workers, 1970, 56 min.)
The United Mine Workers of America 1970: A House Divided (Appalshop, 1971, 14 min.)
Los Trabajadores (El Comite de Apoyo a Los Trabajadores Agricolas, 2002, 19 min.)
I’m NOT on the Menu (Labor Beat, 2018, 11 min.)

This event is part of “We Tell: 50 Years of Participatory Community Media,” a six-screening series of activist grassroots documentaries made by oppositional groups in the United States for more than 50 years. Curated by Louis Massiah of the Scribe Video Center and Patricia Zimmermann of Ithaca College, the series offers an essential history of the individual voices that embody and constitute “we the people.” Exploring salient topics of collective documentary practice, each program features a diversity of voices across historical time periods and geographic locations throughout the United States. The programs chronicle a rich history of political and social engagement by community groups, connecting past with present to show the development of ideas, media technologies, and politics. Each screening will be complemented by speakers from across Chicagoland, including filmmakers, activists, and scholars, further connecting the issues raised in the films to our own lives.

1/16: States of Violence, with Jacqueline Stewart, Louis Massiah, and Maira Kwhaja at Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
1/30: Environments of Race and Place, with Susan Gzesh and Alaka Wali at Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
2/6: Body Publics, with Judy Hoffman, Sarah Oberholtzer, and Alex Halkin at Green Line Performing Arts Center
2/20: Wages of Work, with Salomé Aguilar Skvirsky, Patricia Zimmermann, and Andrew Friend at Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts
2/27: Collaborative Knowledges, with Jacqueline Stewart, Carmel Curtis, and Margaret Caples at Green Line Performing Arts Center
3/12: Turf, with Allyson Nadia Field, Angela Aguayo, Denise Zaccardi, Anton Seals, and Gordon Quinn at Green Line Performing Arts Center

Presented by the University of Chicago’s Arts + Public Life and the Film Studies Center, with generous support from the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture.

All programs are free and open to the public.

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