Jessica Estelle Huggins creates “Chi-Voices” a Poetic Film Series, a media project with six premier poets who creatively express their personal experiences with violence in their communities through Spoken Word and Film. Inspired after the death of Jonylah Watkins, the 6-month old baby in March of 2013, we aim to showcase personal stories directly from citizens of the community, not politicians, corporations, or news media. The intention is to showcase the film series to show how violence effects our environment, economy, and humanity.
With Chicago’s heavy poetry scene and using visuals will be the film’s creative platform to appeal to today’s generation that we can see and and understand. All of the poets featured in the series heavily explore violence in their work. The Chi~Voices team will target all constituents, particularly at-risk youth urging them to utilize their talents to make a positive impact in the world around them and to leave a legacy of good and not evil.
Through our partner, BRIJ Fund, Chi~Voices was able to collaborate with theInstitute For Positive Living (IPL) in the Bronzeville, a southside neighborhood of Chicago. A few of the poets from Chi~Voices held poetry workshops to help increase the literacy and performance skill sets of the youth in the Youth Working For Success program at IPL. Currently, Shiri Burson (Director of Chi~Voices) is putting the pieces created by the youth at IPL together to make one solid poem. A few of those youth at IPL will also be featured in the series as well.
Our film will dig deeper into socioeconomic issues, broken homes, lack of direction, absent role models, gang warfare, and emotional distress; many of which breed violence. Each poet tackles an element of each of these factors and brings them to life.
This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Humanities Council, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Illinois General Assembly. Sponsored by BRIJ Fund, L3C.—
Anonymous said: I'm planning on moving to Chicago in about a year and I was wondering, what section is the best to live in?
Every section in Chicago is awesome. Some neighborhoods just aren’t allocated the same resources as others but community in Chicago is strong.
I only urge that you do not move into a neighborhood currently undergoing gentrification.
Anonymous said: I just wanted to say that looking through this blog is giving me nostalgia. I am away for college and I miss home, the south side, and all the taquerias. This blog is my home away from home. Thank you for keeping me in touch with my roots. Chicago south-side!(:
Thanks for following. I like the Southside taquerias too. will post more.
furioushoneybadger said: Hey, I just moved away from Chicago to go to grad school in Philly. I just spent over an hour looking through your blog. Seeing so many of the EL stops i frequented during my undergraduate career got me so home sick. Great blog! I'm from the West Town/Ukrainian Village neighborhood. It don't matter that I'm in Philly, I'm repping that Chi city pride everywhere I go. #LUC #MujeresLatinasenAccion #ChiPride
Thanks, I am glad you liked the blog, and best of luck in grad school!
Candela on the Blue Line. Video posted by Teo Lopez.—