Festival De Mujeres

Taped at the first-ever women’s street fair held in Pilsen, a predominantly Latinx, working-class neighborhood in Chicago. The event was organized by Mujeres Latinas in Accion to showcase Latinx women’s culture and to provide information about social services, health services and recreational opportunities available for women. The video captures the activity and color of the fair and features readings by poets Salima Rivera and Marta Callazo. Comments by organizers, participants and local residents give insight into the role of Latinx women in society at that time. Produced, videotaped, and edited by Eleanor Boyer and Karen Peugh with a grant from the Illinois Arts Council.

00:00Copy video clip URL Onscreen text: “The first women’s street fair in Pilsen, a largely Latinx neighborhood in Chicago, was organized by the women of Mujeras Latinas en Acción in 1979. The event showcased Latina culture and provided local women with information about social services, health resources and recreational opportunities.”

00:19Copy video clip URL Women setting up for the Festival de Mujeres on Saturday, June 30, 1979. “Mujeres Latinas en Acción / Latin Women in Action.” 

01:07Copy video clip URL 17th Street, Chicago. A poster for the festival. Poets Salima Rivera and Marta Callazo sit on the sidewalk. Rivera reads a version of her poem “Pilsen.” 

04:01Copy video clip URL Elga Chavez from Mujeres Latinas en Acción shows off the official festival t-shirts at a booth.

04:35Copy video clip URL Malú Ortega Y Alberro from Casa Aztlan Community Center talks about the t-shirts that she is selling, and talks about the upcoming workshops and demonstrations. She shows a sketch of the mural that they will be painting at Benito Juarez High School. She talks about her work teaching arts and crafts at Casa Aztlan and her goal of getting more girls and women involved. 

06:05Copy video clip URL Rivera, representing the El Taller Puerto Rican Cultural Center, shows off the posters she is selling at their booth. 

06:47Copy video clip URL Interview with a mustachoied man about the festival.

07:01Copy video clip URL Rivera reads a version of “Erotica Sweet.”

08:00Copy video clip URL Festival coordinator Diane Avila discusses the positive reception of the festival and the importance of a woman-defined event. 

08:57Copy video clip URL Adella Hurley, of the El Hogar del Niño Pilsen Day Care Center, shows off the beverages that she’s selling. 

09:28Copy video clip URL A lifelong Pilsen resident talks about her neighborhood and her new union job working construction. 

10:42Copy video clip URL Rivera reads a version of “The Crazy Women of Plaza de Mayo,” which she dedicates to the mothers of those “disappeared” by Pinochet’s government in Chile after the Coup. 

12:35Copy video clip URL A poem in Spanish by Marta Collazo, accompanied by a montage of still photographs. “Mujeres como yo.” 

14:02Copy video clip URL End credits: “Videotape by Eleanor Boyer, Karen Peugh. Photographs by Wayne Boyer. Special Thanks To: Narcy Hernandez, Gretchen O’Conner, Soyla Villacaña. This videotape was made possible in part by a grant from the ILLINOIS ARTS COUNCIL, an agency of the state. Other Support Provided By: Loop YWCA, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, R & M Printing

 

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