Nov 02

Captivity as Service? Interview About Detention Centers for Undocumented Children

By AREA — A short piece about the intersection of the detention/prison industrial complex with the nonprofit industrial complex. Undocumented children are being incarcerated in increasing numbers, and often in adult facilities where they face extreme and brutal conditions. There is an urgent need to get these children released from the grip of Homeland Security. And yet the case of children detained as "unaccompanied minors" illustrates some of the contradictions: in order to ameliorate conditions for detained children, nonprofits become funded to administer their captivity. In this and many other ways, the sphere of advocacy becomes complicit with, and financially co-interested in, the very structures it is supposedly working against.

Jun 22

Call for Submissions to AREA #14: Kids

By AREA Staff — Deadline for proposals: September 1. If accepted, first drafts will be due in mid October. Please click on the blog post to submit your proposal. Your proposal should be 200-300 words, outlining a clear idea and direction. Editors can help support turning your proposal into a final submission -- our published texts are usually between 600-1,400 words, but we can try to accommodate other lengths or formats whenever possible. Do you have an idea that is not a text? You may propose an event, photographic images, drawings/graphics, or media work. Describe it, we will try to feature other formats in our online issue and also in events.

Mar 28

Home Fronts, Housing Struggles – Release of AREA #13

By AREA Staff — Please join us to launch AREA Chicago Issue #13, Thursday, April 4 at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum, 800 S Halsted St., Chicago *5-6 PM Museum open hours and special tours of “Unfinished Business: Home Economics in the 21st Century” *6-7:30 PM Issue #13 readings and celebration AREA Issue #13: Home Fronts, Housing Struggles […]

Mar 01

Housing Matters

By AREA Staff — Housing Matters: Gentrification, Detention and the Foreclosure Crisis in Chicago Saturday, March 9 2013 – 4:30 PM-6:30 PM DePaul Art Museum, 935 W Fullerton Ave Join us for a discussion about efforts to re-think and re-shape Chicago. Will also have a sneak peek at AREA Issue #13 “Home Fronts, Housing Struggles”, coming out in early […]

Image by Sarah Jane Rhee
Jan 26

Ocupados/Occupations and Tent Cities

By AREA Staff — Opening Reception: Friday, February 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Art In These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago (we regret this venue is not wheelchair accessible) Encampments, Occupations and Tent Cities, curated by Jayne Hileman as part of AREA #13, examines historic actions such as the Fayette County Tent City, the occupations of Alcatraz and the Mad Houser hut cities. Espacios Ocupados: Defining 99%, an exhibit curated by Jesus Macarina-Avilaby for Instituto de Nuestro Cultura, features work from contemporary Caribbean, Latin American and Latino/a artists that explores shifting cultural identities in a post-occupy world. Artists/projects: Alfonso Fernández Acevedo, Celia Alvarez-Munoz, Eric J. Garcia, Jose Guerrero, Pedro Lasch, MadHousers, Atlanta and Chicago, Occupied Chicago Tribune, Sarah Jane Rhee, Love + Struggle Photos, Nyki Salinas Duda & Sydney Stoudmire, and more…

Dec 16

Special web preview – Issue#13, Housing

By AREA Staff — The full issue is scheduled to appear in print in March 2013. Please see "Web Features" drop-down menu for a sampling of some of the contributions, edited together as a special web preview. Issue 13 explores the contested ground where we live and have lived: the history and current state of “housing” in Chicago and the political, personal, and imaginative meanings that accompany these physical spaces and the struggles for them. This sampling of pieces to appear in the print issue reflect the issue’s broad themes, including stories and histories of housing in Chicago; the CHA’s Plan for Transformation and its ongoing aftermath; current struggles in Chicago around foreclosure and eviction, detention, and uneven development; housing alternatives and the labor of care; and the effects of gentrification in the Pilsen neighborhood. Issue 13 explores the contested ground where we live and have lived: the history and current state of “housing” in Chicago and the political, personal, and imaginative meanings that accompany these physical spaces and the struggles for them. This sampling of pieces to appear in the print issue reflect the issue’s broad themes, including stories and histories of housing in Chicago; the CHA’s Plan for Transformation and its ongoing aftermath; current struggles in Chicago around foreclosure and eviction, detention, and uneven development; housing alternatives and the labor of care; and the effects of gentrification in the Pilsen neighborhood.

Dec 14

CHAos Revisited

By CHAos Agents — 3rd Rail, its members remaining anonymous, decided the CHAnge campaign would be the target of their intervention, which they called CHAos: a counter-narrative about what had happened to public housing in Chicago through the lens of five power-brokers who had in some way benefited from the changes: Mayor Daley, Terry Peterson, Dan McLean, Alphonso Jackson, and Daniel Levin of the Habitat Company. After seven years and 13 issues of AREA, the organizers of the CHAos project thought it would be worthwhile to reflect on this ambitious project by asking trusted allies familiar with the work to pose challenging questions related to the legacies of CHAos and CHAnge.

Aug 10

Occupying Gay Rights: Against Equality and the Neoliberal Project of “Equality”

By Karma Chávez, Ryan Conrad, and Yasmin Nair, for the radical queer collective Against Equality — Against Equality, a radical queer editorial collective, engages with a rich, dense queer history where queers and many allies fought for justice and against war, the confines of gender norms and marriage, and the prison industrial complex.

Randolph and Des Plaines

By Euan Hague — Amidst the newly constructed condos of the West Loop, the requisite Starbucks, and high end restaurants serving haute cuisine, is the Randolph and Des Plaines intersection. Here, on a damp evening on 4 May 1886 at around 10:30 pm, a bomb exploded, thrown by an unidentified hand. This is the site of Haymarket. The bombing, […]

Chicago’s Unexpected Landscape

By Alison Paul — The sun peaks through the woodland canopy as I gaze upward and see a red-tailed hawk soaring just above the trees. As I walk through the woods the lack of car alarms and police sirens make it almost seem quiet except for the occasional falling dead tree branch and the cacophony of woodland birds and […]

Jul 23

A dialogue with Calles y Sueños’ artistic director: Christina Obregón

By Claudia García-Rojas — From  Pilsen, Chicago to Juchitán, Mexico,  we talk about how  Calles y Sueños (CYS) serves as a crossroads for cultural hopscotch, but also as an intersection for geography, language, art, space and economics.

Notes from a Conversation: Migrant Paths of Latin Guitar

By Iván Resendiz with Mónica Díaz Terrazas — The 1st Latin American Guitar Festival Chicago took place in December 2011 in Pilsen. It offered recitals, lectures, master classes and workshops for people interested in Latin American music. The idea to create a Latin American guitar festival is born out of the commitment to inspire art and culture in the Latino immigrant community and […]

Inhabiting and Learning Together: Tracing the first five years of AREA Chicago

By Daniel Tucker — An earlier version of this essay was written in May 2011 for a “Pedagogic Notebook” edited by Sitesize (Spain), but was revised in March 2012 for publication in areachicago.org. “Healthy social movements need spaces for learning and experimentation, healthy democracies need wise citizens to make wise decisions about resources and politics, and healthy people need […]

PROXIMAL DISTANCE: reflections on process and proximity

By Caitlin Gianniny and Cathy Alva Mooses — Proximal of the body or the point of attachment. from the Latin proximus – ‘nearest’ + al. 2. v. (trans.) to make someone or something remote or far off in position or nature, to distance one self. from the Latin distare – dis- ‘apart’ + stare ‘stand.’ Distance adj. situated nearer to the center of […]