2022 GAD New Directions Awards: Christine J. Walley wins Honorable Mention
Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project (SECASP) Director, MIT Anthro Prof. Christine J. Walley
Amercian Anthropological Association Communities | Katie Nelson
August 25, 2022
2022 NEW DIRECTIONS AWARD - GROUP CATEGORY | Honorable Mention: Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project (SECASP)
Christine J. Walley, Director, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The recently launched Southeast Chicago Archive and Storytelling Project (SECASP) (sechicagohistory.org) is an online collaborative venture. It highlights materials donated to the all-volunteer Southeast Chicago Historical Museum by the multiracial working-class residents who historically settled in this former steel mill region. The website uses residents' saved objects – and the stories they told about them – to bring to life everyday experiences of work, immigration, job loss, and environmental contamination from the point of view of residents themselves. Offering an innovative perspective on visual and public anthropology traditions, the project takes a multimodal and collaborative approach to creating intergenerational conversation about working-class history and experience. The website includes four mini-documentaries or "Storylines" (including Mexican-American Journeys and The Memorial Day Massacre) as well as a Digital Archive (with 13 featured curations on topics such as "Black Experience in the Mills," "Women at Work," and "Union Life"). The website emerged after anthropologist and former Southeast Chicago resident Chris Walley and filmmaker Chris Boebel proposed the collaboration to Museum volunteers. The site has been created by a project team, including Creative Director Jeff Soyk, in conjunction with the Museum and community residents.
The GAD Awards Committee acknowledges the creativity, innovation, and broad dissemination of anthropological insights of SECASP, a collaborative digital project that exposes the public to the history and material culture of Chicago's ethnically diverse working-class neighborhoods.
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