[Chicago Crossings: Bridges and Boundaries, reel 54; Student Mural Day]

chicago-crossings-bridges-boundaries-reel-54-student-mural-day

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The Kartemquin crew visits a classroom where students are working on the mural project associated with Spertus Museum of Judaica's "Bridges and Boundaries" exhibition. The tape mostly comprises of footage in the classroom as they begin work for the day, plus part of an interview with the two instructors.

0:00Copy video clip URL Bars and tone.

0:27Copy video clip URL The students and teachers all gather around a table as one of the teachers blows a shofar. They all hold hands and “focus their energies.: The teacher speaks about how they also do this in Africa, so “we’re doing this in both traditions.” She tells the class about the importance of unity—”Many is more powerful than one.”—and about how we are more powerful when we are together in a team than alone as an individual. They end by chanting, “Harambee!” which she says means, “Come together.”

2:45Copy video clip URL They begin to discuss their plans for the mural and look at an art book for inspiration. They discuss possible ways of composing the image, and how the changes in composition could affect the meaning.

5:36Copy video clip URL The teachers begin to assign students to various tasks and continue to discuss some of the compositional elements as students get to work blocking out designs and painting the panels.

16:20Copy video clip URL The Kartemquin crew interviews the two teachers about the mural project. The teachers talk about the idea behind the mural—it is meant to show the shared struggle and shared experiences that could bring together blacks and Jews, as well as the things that have kept them apart. Both teachers emphasize that the mural and its themes are being developed by everyone taking part, and so it isn’t just one person’s vision. They also talk about the feelings expressed by some of the students that this project, which is bringing together students from different backgrounds, isn’t like “the real world,” but that they hope there will be some residual affect that will carry over outside of the project. They begin to discuss their hopes for the mural, but the interview is cut short as the camera is running out of tape.

 

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