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Spinning Home Movies: “Killing Our Darlings” with Leslé Honoré

Oct. 22, , 2020 2020
7:00pm CDT

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Spinning Home Movies is back for Episode 12 with “Killing Our Darlings,” featuring vintage home movie footage from the South Side Home Movie Project, curated and accompanied by original work by artist, activist, and author Leslé Honoré.

This episode, inspired by James Baldwin’s 1963 speech “The Morality of the Artist,” is an urgent call “to recognize that there is nothing under heaven, no creed and no flag and no cause, more important than the single human life.” Babies and tiny children fill the screen, every dimpled knee, gummy grin and wobbling step filmed with love by watchful parents, and each frame a reminder that Laquan was somebody’s baby, Rekia was somebody’s baby, George was somebody’s baby. Honoré lays her unflinching poetry honoring Black and Brown boys and girls over these intimate scenes, and in collaboration with music producer Rob McKay, offers an unforgettable soundtrack of deep cuts and devastating spoken word.

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About the Artists

Leslé Honoré is a Blaxican artist, activist, and author of Fist & Fire, a collection of powerful, unflinching poems that confront issues of social justice through the lens of real human lives and voices, and dive into the flames of love within the context of a relationship. Through her poetry and work she empowers youth to find their voices through the arts, and inspire people to stand in the gaps that social, economic, and racial inequities create. Leslé challenges readers, inviting them to think, feel, and consider how to create spaces where everyone can thrive. She hopes that through her work she can uplift the voices of people who are often silenced, unheard, and feel invisible. Her pieces about Serena Williams and Doria Ragland went viral on social media and expanded the reach of her work to an international audience. Poetry has always been how Leslé expressed herself, discovering her writer’s voice in childhood. She further honed her work at Xavier University of Louisiana where she studied English Literature and Spanish. Leslé has read her work at Obama Foundation convenings and events, the Elevated Chicago Symposium, Chicago’s 19th Amendment Commemoration, the University of Illinois Chicago’s Speaking Anarcha’s Name, the Silver Room Block Party, Latinos Progressando MEX Talks, and other events, and she was featured at the inaugural Tedx Grand Boulevard in 2020. She has been featured in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, WBEZ (NPR), The Kendall Moore Show/WVON, and all major Chicago tv news outlets. In October 2019, she was honored as the Community Partner of the Year by One On One. Leslé also hosts a web-based series, Bestie Shine, with her friend, artist David Anthony Geary.

You can follow Leslé on Facebook and Instagram @LesléHonoré, and on Twitter @Lesle_Honore.

Her name is pronounced LES-lay ON-or-ay.

A music industry veteran with over 30 years in the business, Rob McKay is co-owner and curator at Connect Gallery in Hyde Park Chicago, providing a social space and gallery for both well-established and emerging artists. He is Director of Productions for The Silver Room Sound System Block Party, an annual event drawing over 40,000 attendees and generating $3.6 million for the southside of Chicago, and founder of THĒARĒ Group, an organization in which artists and the entrepreneurial-minded share ideas and resources.

He co-curated "Move Your Body," a Chicago Cultural Center exhibition that chronicled the history of Chicago House Music and drew over 95,000 attendees, and the well-received public art installation "Activate," in partnership with the Chicago Loop Alliance. With friend and business partner Eric Williams, McKay produces the annual Connect Art Fair in Hyde Park and South Shore, Chicago.

McKay was featured on the NPR radio show, Code Switch and has been interviewed for the Chicago Reader and other publications. He was awarded the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago's 2017 Black Excellence Award in the category of Gallery Exhibit in recognition of his curation of Connect Gallery.