Exit Zero, the documentary film based on Christine Walley's auto-ethnography, Exit Zero: Family and Class in Post-industrial Chicago (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2013), chronicles the experiences of several generations of Walley’s family who worked in the Chicago steel mills. The film and book have two central themes: the devastating effects of mill closures and deindustrialization on working class communities in the US; and the widespread reluctance, even inability, in the US to talk meaningfully about class differences and identities, especially in our current era of deepening inequality.
After the “sneak preview” showing of this entire 85-minute film, Producer Walley and director Chris Boebel will be joined by Bea Lumpkin, author of Always Bring a Crowd: The Story of Frank Lumpkin, Steelworker, for a panel discussion, adding a perspective from organized labor during the years covered by Walley’s book and film, when Lumpkin’s husband organized a 17-year, successful fight against Wisconsin Steel, which closed its Chicago plant and attempted to steal employees’ pensions.
The Exit Zero Project also includes an interactive website that allows visitors to explore SE Chicago’s former industrial sites, brownfields, wetlands, and historic neighborhoods, to deepen and personalize the film’s environmental and cultural history. This event is co-sponsored by the Departments of Labor Studies and Anthropology.
When: November 5, 2015, 6:30 PM
Where: Fine Arts 015