It is no secret that the amount of violence in the city of Chicago has reached alarming rates over the past couple of years. The city has even been jokingly nicknamed “Chiraq” by outsiders. But there is nothing comical about the numerous lives that have been forever altered or lost. Especially, those of the youth. So some of the city’s residents have decided to ban together and take a stand using the mediums of poetry, spoken word, and film. They have dubbed their undertaking, Chi~Voices – A Poetic Film Series.
Leading their efforts is videographer Jessica Estelle Huggins (B~Free). She has teamed up with seven elite poets to create a film series. The series will entail the poets expressing their personal sentiments and ordeals as it relates to the violence in their communities through an array of recorded intertwined short stories. By using people who directly endure the violence, the group feels that the film will have more of an impact. They are hoping to shed a new light on the ongoing negative effects that violence has on: the environment, the economy, and most importantly the human race. They will do this by touching on a variety of subject matters such as: socioeconomic issues, broken homes, gang warfare, etc; and bringing them to life. Their target audience in this is all individuals who have been effected by violence, especially the youth. They are hoping to inspire young people to tap into their talents and use them for something positive instead of getting caught up in the ills of the world. To ensure they reach the desired audience once the project is completed, the Chi~Voices crew plans to partner with: high schools, youth centers, non-profit organizations, and more to showcase the flick. They believe it will be a great source of motivation for all who get the opportunity to view it. Additionally, they feel it will encourage people to re-evaluate how they look at themselves, the future, and their communities. Which will in turn bring about healing, strength, and guidance. There is no one simple solution to put a stop to the violence that plagues the streets of Chicago but this effort could be a great place to start.
However, the Chi~Voices team can’t do it alone. They need funding for: equipment, location rentals, promotional materials, a venue for the premiere, and donations for other ‘stop the violence’ efforts. So they have started an Indiegogo campaign. Those who are able to contribute funds can potentially receive tokens of appreciation that range from social networking shout outs to journals to producer credits. Those who can’t help out financially are simply asked to share the project and the campaign. The campaign runs until the 24th of this month. Production is slated to start in September and the project will be tentatively ready for viewing by April 2014. The promo trailer for Chi~Voices – A Poetic Film Series can be seen below.
**My Two Cents: I am all for this cause. I love the spoken word concept and I am really excited to see how the film turns out. I highly urge readers to visit the links and watch the video. Also if you can, please donate or at the very least share and help spread the word. Jessica and the Chi~Voices team will greatly appreciate it! You can find more of the movement on Word Press and Twitter. -MinM