Student artists reflect, react, retell the tales of Chicago violence


On “The Interrupters”

Let he that is without sin cast the first stone

But if he is causing harm to the harmful then who is wrong?

Constantly what do we see on the news everyday

A child denied the right to see another birthday


Back in May we featured a blog post by L. Anton Seals, who has worked closely with “The Interrupters” documentary film project about violence in Chicago. He took the time to tell us how art can play a crucial role in stopping violence – by allowing communities to react in healthy, healing ways. And by giving individuals positive expressive outlets.


This summer, Urban Gateways teaching artists Oli Rodriguez and Eunsong Angela Kim are leading a video production apprenticeship program at the School of the Art Institute. Students are examining narratives of race, class and gender through artistic mediums. They watched “The Interrupters” as an example of a film that works with these themes. The result? Incredible poetry outlining their thoughts on the documentary and what violence means to them and in their communities.


Check out poetry samples here and here on the program’s blog. [This poetry is uncensored – ideas, opinions and any strong language are the students’ own.]


Teaching artist Angela Kim said that “This course fosters high school students for college level studies of critical theory, visual studies, contemporary poetics, art and video production. We focus on contemporary artists and poets who perform and interrogate the problematic, creating work that represents notions of class, race and gender while challenging ideas of privilege. The students in this class write poetry and criticism, read critical texts and make images on a daily basis.” They also look at video techniques and editing.


“The Interrupters” is a poignant film about a poignant issue. These students are next up.

Their blog lives here>>