Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Sharing (My Finds Are Yours)

Impress your summer party guests with your knowledge of the history of women's undergarments, "Beat Generation" writers, or the Hidden World of Girls. You'll find links to all these eclectic offerings in today's edition of Saturday Sharing.

✭ If you can't get enough of Jack Kerouc, William S. Burroughs, or other "Beat Generation" writers, you need "Your Primary Source for Beat Literature": Third Mind Books, Arthus S. Nusbaum's resource by and for collector-enthusiasts. 

✭ Writers looking for a way to manage their submissions to literary magazines now have this electronic tool to help them: Tell It Slant.

✭ H. Kristina Haughland, associate curator of Costume and Textiles at the Philadelphia Museum of Art gives a fascinating art-historical talk on "Revealing Garments: A Brief History of Women's Underwear". Haughland draws from artwork, advertisements, cartoons, literary sources, and surviving garments to reveal past and current attitudes and ideas about beauty, hygiene, modesty, and respectability and aesthetics as revealed through women's undergarments. (The video is just over an hour in length.)

✭ On June 30, National Public Radio broadcast "Shooting Inmates: A Photographer Copes with Grief". It is the story of photographer Deborah Luster's project, One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana, a project to take formal portraits of inmates in three Louisiana prisons: Transylvania Prison Farm, Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, and Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

Luster took up photography following the death of her mother, victim of a contract murder in 1988. Luster's images from the project are as remarkable as her own story. She made more than 1,000 of them, using an old-fashioned silver plate technique, which gives the images a 19th Century tin-type feel, and printing them in black and white on pocket-size metal sheets. She gave each inmate she photographed a paper copy of his or her portrait.

Poet C.D. Wright was a collaborator on the project.

A video made during an exhibition of her images follows:

NPR's story is part of an international, online, year-long series, The Hidden World of Girls, on which it is collaborating with The Kitchen Sisters. The concept behind Hidden World is to create a database of intimate diary entries (images or scans of diary pages) that produces a "tapestry" of life experiences. Submissions are made through The Hidden World of Girls Flickr group. Go here and here for details. Other NPR features in the special series are summarized and accessible here.

✭ The social activist group The Raging Grannies is the subject of a documentary by Pam Walton, Raging Grannies: The Action League. Take 22 minutes to watch Walton's video of this extraordinary group of women who protest against injustice nonviolently all over the San Francisco Bay Area. A radio interview with the Grannies and Walton is here. A brief Curve magazine feature on the Grannies is here.


Pam Walton said...

Maureen, thanks so much for mentioning our Raging Grannies documentary. These women are my heroes! Watch for the full 30-minute show on Free Speech TV, coming soon. -- Pam Walton

Laura said...

I have to check out the history of underwear. But...Luster's story is so compelling--just the little tease you give me here breaks my heart.

Thank you, Maureen, for always keeping me on my toes...finding the stories that challenge me in so many ways.

Jenne' R. Andrews said...

What an incredibly intense, moving project. I find myself watching MSNBC Lock-up quite a bit because the crew is objective and often, compassionate even when talking to the angriest and most dangerous people. Somehow watching and watching through the camera is a like a second sight, revealing the truth of things, how we are like and unlike those who do harm... brava to you for diggning in deep on this one. xxxj