CHICAGO- Jon Langford, best known as a member of the influential punk band the Mekons, will share the stage at the Harold Washington Library on Thursday, June 2, 2005 from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM with a diverse and eclectic group of artists, poets, and activists that the NWA and the Public Square at the IHC has assembled to give voice to some of the pressing issues facing the labor movement.
The multi-media event, “Representing Invisible Labor: How the Arts Speak the Language of Labor,” will explore how artists have represented the many forms of work that go unnoticed in everyday life, such as city street-workers who change light bulbs, office-workers who clean after-hours, or immigrant labor, which supports the service economy. The intersections of gender, race and class in this struggle will be discussed. This program is free and open to the public. Reservations are recommended. Please call (312) 422-5580 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations.
Langford, previously collaborated on The Executioner’s Last Songs, a collection of songs of murder, execution and mob justice with partial proceeds benefiting Artists Against the Death Penalty and the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty. He will be joined by acclaimed poets such as Jeff Manes, who has written about his life as steelworker; Ben Calhoun, Deputy Director of News at WBEZ-Chicago Public Radio, who is working on a photo-journalism project entitled “Daily Meaning: Life Inside America’s Service Industries”; James Thindwa, Executive Director of Chicago Jobs with Justice; a representative from Chicago Labor Union Women (CLUW), who will talk about gender issues in organized labor; and Jamie-Owen Daniel, scholar and long-time activist around labor struggles.
Emily Udell and Aaron Sarver from In These Times and the WLUW and WHPK radio program Fire on the Prairie will moderate the conversation.
ABOUT THE PUBLIC SQUARE AT THE ILLINOIS HUMANITIES COUNCIL
The Public Square at the IHC fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social and political issues with an emphasis on social justice. Programs promote participatory democracy by creating space for public conversations. Knowledge is power, yet much crucial knowledge still circulates only in small, isolated communities. We build bridges between theory and practice in order to empower individuals to use ideas as tools to improve their lives.
The Public Square was adopted by the Illinois Humanities Council on December 1, 2004. To learn more about IHC programs in Chicago and around the state, check out the website Calendar of Events. www.prairie.org. More information about The Public Square at the IHC and Café Society is available at www.thepublicsquare.org.
ABOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD WRITING ALLIANCE AND THE JOURNAL OF ORDINARY THOUGHT
The Neighborhood Writing Alliance believes in the power of the written word. They sponsor writing workshops across the city, free and open to all adult residents. They also publish pieces by each writer in the Journal of Ordinary Thought (JOT), which has as its motto, Every Person Is a Philosopher. JOT is founded on this basic idea and is dedicated to bringing out the unheard voices and stories of Chicago. Many of the writers in JOT groups are marginalized from traditional, mainstream literary circles, because of class, race, physical isolation, or other issues. NWA only publishes writing produced in their workshops. Absolutely everyone in their groups gets the opportunity to be published in their magazine, whether they are accomplished writers or newly literate. More information about the NWA or JOT is available at http://www.jot.org/
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