There is a new issue of AREA Chicago coming out and its jam-packed as usual with great stuff. The issue’s theme “Infrastructure and Institutions” touches on a particularly challenging subject for leftists – how to scale up and how to sustain over time. I especially like the pieces on Free Geek Chicago and the Southside Community Arts Center, two dramatically different organizations trying to think about the challenges of growing and evolving over time. These two pieces perfectly illustrate that theme.
For this issue I contributed an editorial, and three interviews – with People’s Law Office, artist Sarah Kavage and an email Q & A with several activists about their interest in the creation of a city-wide social movement center in Chicago. I also helped out with a map insert that was a collaboration between AREA and Warehouse Workers for Justice called “Bad Jobs in Goods Movement” which addresses the conditions of suburban warehouse workers and the intermodal transit system for “goods movement” which they are connected to. I also made this video about the release party we had:
It is bittersweet, this is my last issue of AREA Chicago. The Chicago Reader did an article about our organizational transition that I encourage you to check out here. It has been a wonderful experience the last 5 years and I am really excited to see what the incredible folks involved in AREA these days and in the future cook up. I will likely be writing some about my reflections on the work of AREA over the last 5 years so I don’t feel the need to really dig into that now.
But the short of it is, there isn’t a project I have been connected to that has offered so much learning on the level of skills and knowledge. I cannot think of a better way to learn about the city you live in than to create a publication about it! Thanks to everyone who has offered support along the way, especially past and present advisory group members named here as well as un-named but equally as important unofficial advisors like Lauren Cumbia, Eric Triantafillou, Emily Forman, Josh MacPhee, Nato Thompson, Dara Greenwald, Gilda Haas, Kelly Burdick, Liz Birch, Jakob Jakobsen, Vladimir Us, Sonja Soldo, Natasha Bodrozic, What/How/For Whom, Maggie Schmitt, Abigail Satinsky, Rikke Luther, Javier Rodrigo, What is to be Done?, Greg Sholette, Mary Patten, Michael Piazza, Harishi Patel, Damon Rich, Marko Sancanin, Brian Holmes, the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest crew and Rosten Woo who have all helped me in my work and thinking around AREA over the years.