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