Welcome to this, the fifth annual Best of the South Side.
Shamar Hemphill is a senior organizer at the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), a community organization based in Chicago Lawn. An Englewood native and Hyde Park resident, Hemphill has been working for IMAN for the past decade. IMAN’s work encompasses a dizzying array of initiatives—among them, a fully-staffed health center for low-income residents, weekly farmers markets and bimonthly open mics for youth, a “green reentry” program that trains recently incarcerated men in environmentally friendly construction skills, a summer music and arts festival, and lobbying for parole reform.
This Interview Issue, the fourth of its kind, contains eight interviews with artists, activists, writers, and residents of Chicago.
A week’s worth of developing stories, events, and signs of the times, culled from the desks, inboxes, and wandering eyes of the editors
The cover of our fourth annual Lit Issue offers a sort of visual game to its reader: can you reconstruct the original photo, before it became collage? Say, is that the cover of a book by Albert Camus? What’s with those books repeating in the top corner? It’s not really a game you’re meant to win: the artwork offers literature in motion, bringing history into our present—and onward, into our future.
Build Coffee—opened this summer by two former South Side Weekly editors—is a coffee shop and bookstore directly next door to the Weekly office in the Experimental Station. They stock a mix of used and new books, including a wall of mostly-local zines, chapbooks, comics, and artist books. The following pages, chosen with great neighborly affection, are excerpts from some of their favorite Chicago presses and artists on those shelves: Bigmouth Comix, Let It Sink, 7Vientos, Half Letter Press, Low Key Label, and Brown & Proud Press.