The Amazing Walk
Chicago filmmaker Lee Kazimir comes to Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art on November 30 to discuss his 3000-mile, six-month walk from Madrid to Kiev. During the trek, Kazimir filmed every chance he had and is condensing the footage into an eighty-minute film. “I wanted to take it all in, to get in all the little encounters and experiences you can’t get from ordinary travel,” he says. The downside to this method? “Imagine six hours down the same country road, without finding a restaurant to eat in or even a faucet to fill your water bottle. Not finding anyone to speak to, just trapped with your own thoughts and the company of roadkill,” he says. However, the good moments far outweighed the bad. “Hundreds of people helped me in ways great and small [and] let me into their lives for a day or even just an hour.” The film is filled with international characters and settings: “Rowdy football hooligans, picturesque landscapes, articulate neo-Nazis, drunken college kids mooning my camera, babies in life jackets and friendly old ladies reciting dirty nursery rhymes,” he says. “All that stuff.”
The Gift of Poetry
The Poetry Center is collaborating with Lightology again for its fourth annual poetry billboard, which features the following verse: “Lights are the flowers/ in the night garden/ of the city,” by Luis J. Rodriguez. “It’s a simple verse with a basic and accessible message. I also hope it will help most Chicagoans to wake up to the poetry in their own lives,” Rodriguez says, who has written several poetry collections. “Lightology wants to use the space during the holiday season in a noncommercial kind of way. They want to give a present of poetry,” says Lisa Buscani, executive director at The Poetry Center. The billboard, on display from December 3 until December 30 at 215 West Chicago, has previously featured poetry by former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lisel Mueller. “I hope it’s the kind of thing that stops a person cold, suspending them from the stressed-out, non-poetry realities we’re surrounded by,” Rodriguez says.