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  • Joann: My Sister The Mail Carrier

    A brief portrait of Joann Elam who delivers the mail in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. She talks about being a woman in a traditionally male job. She comments on responses from job supervisors and how she derives personal benefit from this kind of employment. Produced for the Chicago Video Makers’ Coalition program, SLICES OF CHICAGO, a show for broadcast consisting of small format “alternative” videos on subjects not normally seen on broadcast television. Continue reading

  • Getting Strong: Self Defense For Women

    In the early 1970’s Chicago’s Loop Center YWCA implemented a variety of anti-rape programs to combat societal beliefs and institutional practices that negatively impacted women. Self defense for women was one of these programs. In this video, comments by men, women and interviews with women self-defense instructors, Carol Whiteside, Sue Gould and Andra Medea, document prevailing attitudes about women’s ability to defend themselves from physical attack. The video shows techniques taught in the women’s self-defense classes at the Loop YWCA. Continue reading

  • Women Working: Pioneers in Carpentry

    Jobs in construction carpentry and cabinet making, and the good pay derived them, traditionally have been the domain of men. This video gives a first-hand look at carpentry apprenticeship as experienced by some of the first women to enter these trades in the 1970’s. The camera follows women carpenters at work on job sites including a high-rise under construction, a carpentry shop at a sewer project and in a production cabinet shop. They talk about the training they receive, the working conditions, the kinds of responses they get from male co-workers and the benefits derived from their support-group, Chicago Women Carpenters. Produced by Audrey Denecke for the Women’s Pre-Apprenticeship Project, Midwest Women’s Center, Chicago. Certificate of Merit, Chicago International Film Festival, 1981. Continue reading

  • La Maestra: Maria Luisa Michel Almonte

    Maria Almonte immigrated from Mexico to Chicago’s Pilsen–Little Village neighborhood in 1950. An
    artist/teacher, she supported her family from her flower shop business and became a leader in the
    educational and cultural life of the community. She taught traditional arts, crafts, and practical skills

    like dress-making in settlement houses, in community workshops and in her own studio. At the age of
    70 she continued to teach and act on her belief that artistic expression is a powerful tool for
    developing cultural identity and individual self-esteem. The video shows Ms. Almonte in community-
    sponsored workshops teaching neighborhood residents how to make traditional cut-paper ornaments
    and how to design clothing. In the hall of a local church her students model their creations and receive
    recognition. Produced, directed and edited by Eleanor Boyer and Karen Peugh. Partially funded by
    the Illinois Arts Council and the Center for New Television with a Joyce Foundation grant.
    Gold Can Award, Chicago Access Corporation, 1986; Certificate of Merit, Chicago International
    Film Festival, 1984
    Continue reading

  • Rosana Leicht Speaks

    Rosina Leicht recounts the events she and her family experienced being forced from their home in the midst of the political chaos and violence of WWII. She describes their flight by horse-drawn wagon from their small village of Lowas, Yugoslavia to avoid advancing Russian forces. Sheltering in Austria, first on a farm and then in a displaced persons camp, they immigrated to the US. in 1956. There, with determination and hard work, she and her husband created a secure life for themselves and their three children. Continue reading

  • In Memory of Frank Sullivan (1930-2021)

    In Memory of Frank Sullivan (1930-2021)

    Frank Sullivan, press secretary for Mayor Richard J. Daley from 1971-1976, died June 18 at the age of 91.  Prior to working for Daley, he served as spokesperson for the Chicago Police Department during the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests. Television viewers around the world then were shocked at live broadcasts of police beating anti-imperialist demonstrators. This was unprecedented violence and the origin of the now-famous protest cry, “The whole world is watching!” The independent Kerner Commission report determined that … Continue reading

  • America’s First Drag Queen President

    America’s First Drag Queen President

    “A presidential campaign is like a drag show.” Joan Jett Blakk In 1992, there was another candidate against Bush, and her name? Joan Jett Blakk. For Pride month, Media Burn is highlighting and celebrating the work of queer activists of the past. Blakk was the drag persona of performer Terence Smith, who was a performer and leader of Chicago Queer Nation in the 70s. In the 1990s, Blakk campaigned for various political positions, such as mayor of Chicago, President (as … Continue reading

  • When a Black King Ruled Chicago

 
 
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