The South Side Home Movie Project (SSHMP) is a five-part initiative to collect, preserve, digitize, exhibit, and research home movies made by residents of Chicago’s South Side neighborhoods. The SSHMP seeks to increase understanding of the many histories and cultures comprising Chicago’s South Side, and of amateur filmmaking practices, by asking owners of home movies (shot on 8mm, Super8mm, 16mm film) to share their footage and describe it from their personal perspectives.
The project brings materials that are typically kept in private collections into public light and discussion. We aim to build an alternative, accessible visual record, filling gaps in existing written and visual histories, and ensuring that the diverse experiences and perspectives of South Siders will be available to larger audiences and to future generations.
Supported by the University of Chicago's Center for the Study of Race, Politics, & Culture, the Film Studies Center, the Women's Board of the University of Chicago, and the Office of Civic Engagement's Community Program Accelerator, the South Side Home Movie Project is both a film preservation project and a visual history of Chicago's South Side neighborhoods.
The South Side Home Movie Project was launched in 2005 by Professor Jacqueline Stewart (AM ’93, PhD ’99). Dr. Stewart's research and teaching explore African American film cultures from the origins of the medium to the present, as well as the archiving and preservation of moving images, and “orphan” media histories, including nontheatrical, amateur, and activist film and video. Stewart is a Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies as well as Director of the Gray Center for Arts & Inquiry at the University of Chicago. She is the co-curator of the L.A. Rebellion Preservation Project at the UCLA Film and Television Archive and curator of Cinema 53, a film series at the historic Harper Theater in Hyde Park.
Project Manager/Archivist Candace Ming joined the project in November 2015 to manage the project's growing archive and expand it's visibility. Ming is a graduate of the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program at New York University. Before joining the South Side Home Movie Project she worked as a Public Records Officer for the New York Police Department designing the infrastructure they would need to archive and store their vast collection of training films. She also worked at the Museum of Modern Art where she worked with Curator Ron Magliozzi and Conservateur Peter Williamson on the newly discovered outtakes of an unreleased Biograph Bert Williams film. Ming researched the lead actress in the film, identified as Odessa Warren Grey.
Film and Video Projects Manager Sabrina Craig has been a film programmer in Chicago for over 20 years, developing community- based screenings, innovative film programs, and opportunities to engage with media artists at multiple sites, including Black Cinema House, Women in the Director’s Chair Film Festival, University of Chicago’s Logan Center for the Arts, and colleges and community centers throughout the Midwest. As a board member of the Peace and Justice Radio Project, she developed a youth media literacy curriculum used in Chicago public high schools and the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. She served two years as Chair of the LSC of her daughter’s public school. MA, Northwestern University, Radio/TV/Film; BA, Pomona College, Language and Society.