Screening of Work-In-Progress Doc 'Chronicles of Summer' (3 Young Black Girls Shaping Their Identity) 6/26 at Chicago’s Black Cinema House
Photo Credit: S & A

Screening of Work-In-Progress Doc 'Chronicles of Summer' (3 Young Black Girls Shaping Their Identity) 6/26 at Chicago’s Black Cinema House

nullLast year, I

wrote about Chicago-based filmmaker and urban anthropologist, Ife Olatunji and

her new documentary, "Chronicles of Summer: Childhood in South

Shore," which centers around 3 close friends – Indigo, Ameera, and Akili

all 8 years old – and growing up on the South Side of Chicago.

Her goal with the film was to capture “the thought processes of the three small girls as they

negotiated their way through the volatile and changing education system… [and

was] interested in conveying the manner in which schools’ arts programs impact

children’s construction of their own identity."

Both girls

were given the opportunity to participate in visual and performance arts after

school. But when school ended for the summer, it was up to their parents to find

a safe and affordable education for their daughters.


financial and family troubles, parents enroll their kids in summer programs

with the hope of preparing them for more than just the fall semester… [as the

film details the experiences of the girls as they learn while dealing]… with

the personal and artistic challenges that shape their identity during a

critical age. Confronting notions of a “poor education”, this community redefines

what is worth learning."


filmmaker was a 2014 Katemquin films/Community Film Workshop Diverse Voices in

Documentaries Fellow, and calls herself a documentary filmmaker who specializes in methods of observational cinema, and ethnographic field work.

With a BA in

Anthropology from Syracuse University, and a graduate MA in Visual Anthropology

from the University of Manchester, UK, she says that her "anthropological

field work has lead me to teaching media and art to students of all ages, and

worldwide," and she has formed her own documentary production company called Freedom Lover Films.

There are

few films, whether narrative or documentary, that focuse on the lives and experiences of

young black girls, and for Ms. Olatunji, "Chronicles of Summer" will

be important because it "seeks to capture the voices and experiences of

elementary students as they explore the value of education and arts in shaping

their identity."


Friday there will be a special advance screening of her film as a “work

in-progress,” this Friday, at the Black Cinema House in Chicago, located at 7200

S. Kimbark, starting at 7PM.

Seating as

always is free, but you have to RSVP in advance HERE.

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