[Rocking the Boat raw: Bughouse Square #1]

Footage of Bughouse Square in August 1998. Studs Terkel briefly appears in this video.

00:00Copy video clip URL Tape begins with color bars and tone.

00:30Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of some of those in attendance at Bughouse Square. It seems to be a pleasant summer day at the square, as the many audience members sit and listen to Alan Schwartz, who runs the Chicago Metro History Fair at the Newberry Library. He addresses the audience and goes through a couple of sound checks before beginning to sing folk songs about Chicago history. He leads off his set with a song about Clarence Darrow, who was Chicago’s most famous defense lawyer.

06:28Copy video clip URL Schwartz begins to talk about the importance of history and the need to make that history easily accessible  for the next generation. Schwartz states that unless this happens, history will ultimately be forgotten. Schwartz then sings a five hundred year old German folk song that was banned in Germany by Hitler during WWII. The cameraman shoots Schwartz from behind the stage as he performs the song. He also picks up a few shots of the crowd, who seem to be fairly bored and unreceptive to Schwartz and his music.

08:47Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of Schwartz talking about the new fence that had been put up around Bughouse Square. Schwartz states that it provides a wonderful place for the homeless to sleep. He also jokes with the audience and states that he feels that the fence is actually a giant laundry line, and encourages the crowd to hang their laundry on the fence. He then goes on to talk about the gentrification of the neighborhood surrounding Bughouse Square and how it is dislocating much of the poor in the area.

10:43Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of a couple of audience members as they listen to Schwartz perform. They don’t seem to be very enthused. The cameraman picks up a few different shots of the audience members as they listen to Schwartz.

13:19Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of Studs Terkel and an unidentified man having a conversation. The camera follows Terkel as he goes to take a seat in front of Schwartz. Terkel is approached by a man who asks him to autograph a copy of his book, Working. Terkel seems to be in good spirits.

14:46Copy video clip URL There is a black screen for a couple of seconds.

14:49Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of a speaker at Bughouse Square talking about the health care system in the U.S. The man speaks from a megaphone and responds to rebuttals from various audience members. Those in the crowd listen attentively as the speaker makes his case. In the background, you can hear other speakers talking through their megaphones at different soapboxes around the square. It is quite interesting seeing Bughouse Square in full swing once again reliving its past.

17:33Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of another speaker pleading her case for the benefits of bilingual education. Almost immediately, a man from the crowd repudiates some of her comments and emphasizes the importance of immigrants learning how to speak the English language. She agrees with him, but goes on to talk about the positive effects of bilingual education in a little more detail. The cameraman goes back and forth in between speakers, documenting the different aspects of the event.

20:57Copy video clip URL Quick cut to shot of another unidentified speaker as he finishes a speech about the war on drugs and how it has been ineffective in the U.S. Immediately after the speaker steps down, another speaker takes the megaphone and provides the crowd with an alternative view on the subject. That speaker then begins to talk about the negative effects of the gambling industry in Chicago. Audience members watch attentively, some even repudiating certain comments made by the speaker. The cameraman gathers more footage of the many speakers at the square. This lasts for the duration of the video.

30:12Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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