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  • Touring the Midwest: Milwaukee & Iowa City

    I had an incredible experience in Milwaukee and Iowa City last week. In Milwaukee I hung out with my old friend and one of my enduring feminist, anti-racist inspirations, Susannah Bartlow. Read about this MESSED UP RACIST THING that happened that led to her being fired from her job at Marquette Univeristy.

    I did presentations in Jesse McLean's undergraduate class and Steve Wetzel's Nonfiction Poetics class at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. I had the pleasure of bumping into Carl Bogner, the force behind the Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival. Oh and I also got to tour QZAP - the Queer Zine Archive Project, which is not at the University but off-campus in a lovely climate controlled basement. Susannah and I also went to a spoken word benefit event for Mothers for Justice United, which is a group of mothers whose children have been taken from them by police and racist vigilante violence.

    Anna Swanson, an MFA student at the Univeristy of Iowa at Iowa City, had instigated this entire Midwest Mini-Tour by inviting me out to her school and community to do a series of presentations. Anna is certainly one to watch! She makes exciting participatory documentary projects that experiment with form and emphasize relationship-building. At the University, I did a presentation in Anna's documentary class and did critiques with MFA students. I also gave the "Getting in the Way: How Artists & Activists Can Work Together" workshop that I usually do with Amy Harwood, this time solo, at the Center for Worker Justice.  I did a screening of three short works, plus Arresting Power at Public Space One as part of the Headroom Screening Series. Anna had organized an interesting post-screening discussion with a Dr. Jessica Welburn and LaTasha DeLoach. Also, I got to spend a lot of time with Iowa City filmmakers Mike Gibisser and Jason Livingston, and artist Hannah Givler, which was among my favorite parts of the trip. I also happened to be in town when Process Reversal was doing a workshop at the University, preparing people for the apocolypse by teaching them how to make their own emulsion and paint it onto 16mm film. So much good energy in Iowa City!

    The Iowa City weekly paper, Little Village, wrote about my activities in their February 25, 2016 article, "Activist filmmaker Julie Perini presents workshop on Thursday and films on Friday."