“Festival De Mujeres,” June 30, 1979, by Eleanor Boyer and Karen Peugh. It was originally shot using U-matic 3/4 inch video. and It features several interviews and shots of the streets in Pilsen, and is essential viewing for those interested in Chicanx/Latinx, feminist and immigrant organizing in the midwest. For one thing, this features Salima Rivera reading a scorching poem about Pilsen gentrification, so hold on to your hat, because she goes hard. There is also an interview with Malu` Ortega y Alberro, famed muralist and art educator, describing her program at the Casa Aztlan, and the mural she is about to paint on Benito Juarez Academy High School, which had just opened. This festival was organized with Mujeres Latinas en Accion, the anti-domestic-violence organization that was started by women in Pilsen.
This video is so remarkable on it's own, but after meeting with Eleanor Boyer and learning more from her as we worked together, I think this needs a dedicated blog post.
Also, the artist Diana Solis was at the Festival, and her documentation of Eleanor and Karen making this video, her photos of women for the t-shirt (seen in the thumbnail above) and stories of the event deserve a dedicated entry, too. Both are coming up.
(from the Media Burn website) “Festival De Mujeres,” June 30, 1979, by Eleanor Boyer and Karen Peugh. Color video. Documentary about a women”s festival in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. A woman reads several of her poems, one is an ode to Pilsen, another dedicated to women searching for their sons after the Allende government was overthrown. There are silkscreening and ceramics workshops, plus art activities for kids, and booths selling posters and t-shirts. Many women’s advocacy groups are represented as well, giving information on violence against women, health care, etc. Traditional Mexican foods are sold as well, such as pineapple water. The tape closes with a poem read in Spanish over still photographs of the festival.