“When you are surrounded by darkness I will be your light, say my name, Pound! Pound! Pound! That’s the sound of the time for us to wake up, don’t make my life a hashtag, say my name and make my life a legend.” – Royal
Every summer, young people from across Chicago come to Little Village to take classes at Yollocalli Arts Reach, an award-winning youth initiative of the National Museum of Mexican Art. Here, students of the Camera Flux class explain in their own photographs and words what it means to be an immigrant in Little Village today.
Last week, the Experimental Station in Woodlawn hosted the opening of the second annual “Bike Shop Art Show,” featuring work created by participants and volunteers of Blackstone Bicycle Works—which, like the Weekly, is housed within the Experimental Station—and organized by Experimental Station assistant director Matthew Searle. Blackstone’s youth arts program is coordinated by Experimental Station lead teaching artist Tita Thomas in partnership with the University of Chicago’s South Side in Focus program.
Two weekends ago, high school poets from across Chicago took to the stage for the finals of the Louder than a Bomb (LTAB) poetry slam, a competition that seeks to engage the city in the “pedagogy of listening,” as Young Chicago Authors marketing manager José Olivarez says. Olivarez has been involved in LTAB since 2005: while he began as a student participant in the festival, he’s now working to make the slam an annual reality.
An estimated 300,000 demonstrators—nearly fifty thousand more than organizers counted last year—took to the streets of downtown Chicago on Saturday to mark the one year anniversary of the national women’s march.
Last month, just outside of Little Village and Lawndale, the Cicero Stadium held a spectacular Lucha Libre Total celebration. The event featured the performance of iconic Mexican wrestlers El Hijo Del Santo, Discovery, Yakuza, and Dr. Cerebro, as well as former WWE wrestler Super Crazy. But in the main and final attraction of the night, attendees young and old only cared to catch a glimpse of legendary WWE champion Rey Mysterio. With its high-flying and dangerous stunts, Lucha Libre Total embraced the Mexican free-fighting tradition.
In its eleventh year, the Hyde Park Jazz Festival drew large crowds two weekends ago. The free two-day festival offered music lovers ten venues to hear some of the best local, national, and international music on the planet.
Weekly photographer Sebastián Hidalgo attended the last Increase the Peace campout—youth-led anti-violence demonstrations across the South Side—of the summer. On August 4, dozens gathered outside of St. Michael’s Church in Back of the Yards for games, music, and food to celebrate the community center’s reopening after over ten years.
This year’s sixth annual Slow & Low: Community Lowrider Festival drew thousands to Pilsen on Sunday, August 6. Lowriders—customized classic vehicles that drive low to the ground—originated in Los Angeles, but here in Chicago they come with a lifestyle devoted to family and community.