We Want Freedom Film Festival- See the exhibit and see these films!
Saturday October 1, 4pm-630pm:
Troublemakers [1966 | 56 minutes | Norm Fruchter/Robert Machover A documentary about the organization of New Left. In the film, Tom Hayden and a group of students from the Students for a Democratic Society movement are being followed. In 1965 they went to Newark to set up the Newark Community Union Project together with its black community. This film deals with the problems the (white) organizers were confronted with while making an attempt to improve the living conditions of the (black) population. Troublemakers was the first documentary ever to be shown at the prestigious New York Film Festival.
We Got To Live Here [1965 | 20 Minutes | Robert Machover/Norm Fruchter. A portrait of the Black community of Clinton Hill in Newark, NJ. Roughly edited silent footage shot on the streets of the neighborhood was shown to people who lived there and their comments were recorded, along with music and talk taken from local radio, to create the sound track . Films start at 430pm. Post-screening discussion with Peter Kuttner, exhibit curator and filmmaker
Saturday October 1, 630pm-9pm
The Democratic Promise: Saul Alinsky & His Legacy [1999 | 57min | Bob Hercule/Bruce Orenstein] The story of ordinary people making demands for the power to govern their own lives. Narrated by Alec Baldwin, the documentary examines both the history of community organizing — through the work of Saul Alinsky — as well as the current state of community organizing, as shown by contemporary organizations in New York and Texas. In a larger sense, the program is about the restoration of American democracy through shared public participation in civil life — a vital antidote to an era of increased citizen alienation and voter apathy.
Power to the People [1989 | 26 minutes | December 4th Committee] This film, made on the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Black Panther Fred Hampton speaks to Black, Latino and White activists who worked with and were influenced by Fred Hampton and the Illinois Black Panther Party. They recall the late 1960s and how the Panther experience still affects their current community work. In doing so, they tell the story of the IL Party and the murder and how it led to the empowerment of Chicago's African-American communities and the election of Chicago's first black mayor, Harold Washington, in 1983. Films start at 7pm. Post-screening discussion with Peter Kuttner, exhibit curator and filmmaker
Sunday October 2, 3pm-6pm
American Revolution 2 [1969 | 76 minutes | Mike Gray/Howard Alk] A gritty but essential documentary charting social turbulences in late 1960's Chicago. American Revolution 2 includes footage of the 1968 Democratic Convention protest and riot, a critique of the events by working class African-Americans in Chicago, and attempts by the Black Panther Party to organize poor, southern white youths of the Young Patriot Party on the city's north side. Using direct sound, a handheld camera, no script, black-and-white film stock, and natural lighting, the directors' no-frills approach appropriately reflects the raw energy of this upheaval.
Trick Bag [1974 | 21 minutes | Kartemquin,/Rising Up Angry] White gang members, Vietnam vets, and young factory workers from Chicago's neighborhoods tell of their personal experience with racism: who gets hurt and who profits. Restored in 2011 thanks to a prestigious National Film Preservation Foundation grant. Films start at 330pm. Post-screening discussion with Peter Kuttner, exhibit curator and filmmaker
Sunday October 2 6-9pm
The Murder of Fred Hampton [1971 | 88 minutes | Mike Gray/Howard Alk] An unprecedented, historically significant documentary on the slain leader of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton, killed in 1969 by Chicago police while he slept in his apartment. Filmmakers Mike Gray and Howard Alk were already shooting a portrait of this charismatic speaker and community organizer when his murder occurred. Arriving at the crime scene only a few hours after the police raid, the unsettling footage they captured was later used to contradict news reports and police testimony in what many believe to be Hampton's assassination.
Right On: A Friend Remembers Fred Hampton [1989 |18 minutes | December 4th Committee] Veteran community activist Jorja English Palmer [1930-2005] talks of the events of 1948-1969 which led Fred Hampton to the leadership of the Illinois Black Panther Party and to his murder as part of the FBI's secret counter intelligence program – COINTELPRO. Films start at 630pm. Post-screening discussion with Peter Kuttner, exhibit curator and filmmaker
We Want Freedom Closing Reception
The exhibition's closing night discussion will focus on criminal justice, its enforcers - the police, and how the US uses the system to maintain income inequality. Rainbow Coalition members will speak of their experiences with the Chicago Police Department and FBI, including the harassment, brutality and infiltration that plagued not only the political organizations but the communities they served. Other panelists will compare today's movement to stop police violence with community control, citizen oversight or even abolition.
October: The Election
Monoprints by: Jeff Kinzel, Doug Ruschhaupt, Kathy Steichen, and Christopher Urias
Opening Reception – October 14, 6-10pm
Kembrew’s Critique Boutique
Opening - November 11, 6-10pm
URI-EICHEN Gallery 2101 S Halsted, Chicago IL 60608
Open by appointment through December 2. For an appointment call 312 852 7717
Kembrew’s Critique Boutique, hosted by the Uri-Eichen Gallery in Chicago, is your one-stop outlet for serious fun. This gallery show features solo and collaborative work by Kembrew McLeod, a media scholar and artist whose projects cross several mediums and practices. His multimedia, multimodal body of work explores how dissent can seep through the cracks of the popular culture that provides our lingua franca, a language that is often privatized and fenced off by intellectual property laws. This was underscored in his 1998 piece, Freedom of Expression®, when Kembrew trademarked that iconic phrase and later threatened AT&T with legal action for “using freedom of expression without permission” in an ad. This conceptual pop-up shop showcases an interconnected oeuvre that includes books, zines and other print ephemera, as well as documentaries, audio projects, and politically-charged “pranks” — such as Freedom of Expression®, selling Kembrew’s Soul, and the exploits of his intrepid alter ego, RoboProfessor (who has crossed paths with Bill Clinton, Michele Bachman and others).
Bio: Kembrew McLeod is a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He has published and produced several books, documentaries, and other award-winning work.
Open by appointment through December 2. Call for an appointment 312 852 7717
December: Human Rights Show - Syria
January: Mike James
Second Fridays of the Month
6PM - 10PM
Richard Berg is the Past President of Teamsters Local 743 where he was an activist in the Teamster reform movement for more than 20 years before being elected president. He was a member and union steward for the Teamsters while working in the Department of Environmental Services at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He has also worked as an Organizer for AFSCME, as a Business Agent for the Teamsters and as a Union Representative for SEIU Local 73. He was also previously the Treasurer of the Chicago Area Labor Support Committee, Executive Board Member of the Chicago Chapter of the Labor Committee for Latin American Advancement, International Steering Committee Member of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, 30th Ward Coordinator for Harold Washington for Mayor in 1987, Staff for James Exum for 48th Ward Democratic Committeeman, Steering Committee Member of the Illinois Chapter of the Labor Party, Wisconsin Chair of the Midwest Coalition Against Registration and the Draft, Co-Chair of the Marquette University Coalition for Divestiture and President of the Marquette University Progressive Student Organization . Richard is currently a Staff Representative for Illinois AFSCME Council 31 and serves on the Steering Committee for the Chicago Labor Speakers Club. He also enjoys fine art whenever possible.
Paul Durica is a teacher, writer, and public historian. Since 2008 he has been producing a series of free and interactive public history programs under the name Pocket Guide to Hell. These talks, walks, and reenactments use costumes, props, music, and audience participation to make the past feel present. Paul has collaborated on programs with a range of cultural institutions from across Chicago including the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, Chicago History Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Gallery 400, Smart Museum, and Sullivan Galleries among others. Paul recently received grants from the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the Chicago Park District to do a series of public history programs in Chicago parks and is one of seven Chicago artists selected to be part of the citywide People Plaza project. Pocket Guide to Hell has been written about in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, The Atlantic Cities, and Huffington Post, and Paul has appeared multiple times on WBEZ and WTTW. Paul’s writing on Chicago history and culture has appeared in Poetry, The Chicagoan, Mash Tun, Lumpen, and elsewhere and, with Bill Savage, he is the editor of Chicago By Day and Night: The Pleasure Seeker’s Guide to the Paris of America (Northwestern UP, 2013). In May 2014 at the Logan Center for the Arts, he organized with Leigh Fagin Let’s Get Working: Chicago Celebrates Studs Terkel, a three-day festival of conversations, readings, film screenings, and musical performances celebrating the life and work of the radio personality and oral historian Studs Terkel and those who continue his work in the present. He is currently the Programs Coordinator for The Arts Club of Chicago.
Ruth Needleman, professor emerita in Labor Studies at Indiana University, has taught labor and Latin American studies since the late sixties. After 4 years in Latin American Literature & Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz, she worked for the United Farm Workers under Cesar Chavez.
Ruth has been awarded honors for excellence in teaching, research and service, for her work, including a book, Black Freedom Fighters in Steel: the struggle for union democracy, and many articles on black history, race, class and gender, leadership development and on movements in Latin America. She contributed to a book on the right-wing in Chile, published by Quimantu, Allende’s publishing house, prior to the fascist coup. She has traveled extensively, presented in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Nigeria, Yugoslavia, Japan, Colombia and more.
She pioneered courses in Labor & the Arts at IU, and established a 15-year college-degree program called Swingshift College, enabling steelworkers to complete college degrees in a customized worker program based on transformational pedagogy. Currently she is writing about this program and the role and character of “pedagogy for liberation” for the 21st century. She is also teaching a course on global social movements at the School of the Arts Institute.
John Pitman Weber is active in community based public art, having co-founded the Chicago Public Art Group almost 45 years ago. His public works in mosaic, paint, cement, and brick are currently found in Chicago, New York City, Minneapolis, Vitoria-Gasteiz, (Spain), Spencer, IA and libraries of Broward Cty, FL. He is also active in the studio with painting and woodcuts. One of his large woodcuts is currently included in the Gulf Labor Coalition’s presence at the Venice Biennale. He is emeritus, retired from Elmhurst College. His home-studio is in Pilsen.
Larry Redmond: I've always had an interest in art. As a child, I used to draw comic book characters. When I entered college, I had hoped to major in art. However, at the time UIC didn't have an art department.
Now, I express myself visually through photography. I love photographing life in the street, especially marches and demonstrations. But my interest is expanding to fine art photography. I hope to do portraits and still lifes within the next year or so.
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where I majored in Philosophy and minored in English. I later attended the John Marshall Law School, earning a Juris Doctor degree. I studied art and photography at Chicago State University where I developed my passion for Documentary Photography and Photojournalism.
I have recently become a member of the Chicago Alliance of African-American Photographers because I appreciated the organization's dedication of professionalism and excellence in the practice of the art of photography. I am also a member of the Washington Park Camera Club.
I currently live in Chicago with my wife and family.
Kathy Steichen co-founded Uri-Eichen Gallery with her husband, Christopher Urias, in 2011. She has led the programming development and coordination of over 100 visual art and community events at the gallery in the last 4 years. She built an organization that brings thousands of people into the space to enjoy music and participate in discussions on social justice themes. She has been involved in racial justice, anti-war and human rights issues for over 25 years. She is an alumna of several social justice and arts programs at Las Palomas de Taos, housed in the Mable Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico. She founded and presided over Amnesty International chapters at the University of Iowa, Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She worked as the Student Program Coordinator of Amnesty International in the Mid-west Region. She worked for Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky’s first primary run as the field coordinator of the 48th Ward in Chicago in the first Campaign School. She is a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has a M.S. in Union Leadership and Administration from UMASS Amherst. She has worked in the labor movement for more than 17 years as an organizer and union staff representative where she represents private and public sector local unions. She has been a practicing print-maker for over 25 years focused on work related to social justice themes.
Christopher Urias co-founded Uri-Eichen Gallery with his wife, Kathy Steichen, in 2011. He is a Pilsen, Chicago native who loves to live so close to good food. He is a graduate or the School of the Art Institute of Chicago focused on printmaking. He develops all the social media for the gallery and completes all the needed design work. He works at the American Bar Association.