Friday 2/7 – Thursday 2/13
7 FRIDAY Cantes de ida y vuelta, or “round-trip songs,” are a type of flamenco that dates to the early 20th century, when traveling Spanish musicians brought new ideas back from places like Cuba and South America. Though purists dismissed the variant as inauthentic, the original flamenco, developed by 16th-century Gypsies in southern Spain, itself incorporated influences as diverse as Hindu dance, Jewish chants, and the Muslim call to prayer. Tonight at 7, Spanish-born flamenco guitarist Tomas de Utrera will explain and play some of the more basic flamenco rhythms and melodies (including cantes de ida y vuelta) at a free event called The Variety of Flamenco. It’s part of Instituto Cervantes’s Flamenco 2003 festival, which runs through February 20 and includes music and dance, lectures, and “Flamenco Faces,” an exhibit of photos by Jeronimo Navarrete. It’s at the institute, 875 N. Michigan, suite 2940; for more call 312-335-1996 or see www. cervantes1.org.
8 SATURDAY In 1946, Michael Reese Hospital hired its first African-American physician, gastroenterologist Leonidas Berry. One of the nation’s foremost experts on digestive disorders, he invented the Eder-Berry biopsy gastroscope, which was used to obtain tissue samples from the stomach (and is now on display at the Smithsonian), but wasn’t granted full attending physician status until 1964. Some of Berry’s papers can be seen in the exhibit “More Than a Century of Struggle: African-American Achievement in Chicago’s Medical History,” which runs through June 30 at the Carter G. Woodson Regional Library. The exhibit provides the background for today’s free town hall meeting, Chicago’s Hospitals and Health Professional Schools: From Racial Exclusion to Affirmative Action, where 24 black health organizations will discuss the status of African-Americans in the health professions. It’ll be moderated by former Cook County Hospital medical director Dr. Agnes D. Lattimer (the first black woman to head a major American hospital) and Dr. William McDade, associate dean for minority affairs and professor of anesthesiology at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. It’s from 1 to 4:30 at the library, 9525 S. Halsted (312-745-2080).
9 SUNDAY Winter on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Reservation can mean ten-foot snowdrifts and temperatures that drop to 40 below. Most of the 15 Lakota Sioux communities there don’t have plumbing, and 68 percent of the inhabitants live below the poverty line. Today’s Billy Mills Youth Center benefit is intended to raise money for the Eagle Butte-based organization, which provides food, toys, tutoring, and counseling for Lakota kids, among whom–according to the American Indian Relief Council–teen suicide is epidemic. The free event includes food, a silent auction of Lakota crafts, and a screening of the video Lakota: Land of Survivors. It starts at 3 PM at the Autonomous Zone, 2129 N. Milwaukee. For more information E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-226-4610.
10 MONDAY “For the majority of the people in Central Asia, independence from the Soviet Communist system did not immediately translate into an urge for democracy, the market economy, or Western culture and consumerism,” writes journalist and author Ahmed Rashid in his new book Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia. “As the Soviet Empire fell apart, the people of Central Asia, who had been forced to renounce or hide their religion for seventy-four years, at last saw an opportunity to reconnect spiritually and culturally with their Islamic past.” The Pakistan-born Rashid, who also penned the bestseller Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, will discuss his latest work tonight at 6 at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State. It’s free; call 312-747-4080.
The title of journalist and author David Horovitz’s lecture, Israel Post-Election: A New Direction or Stagnation?, was chosen long before last month’s vote, in which the sweeping victory of Ariel Sharon’s Likud and the loss of six seats by the dovish Labor Party reconfirmed the utter collapse of the Oslo accords. Horovitz emigrated from Britain to Israel in 1983; his latest book, A Little Too Close to God: The Thrills and Panic of a Life in Israel, describes day-to-day life there. He’ll talk about the election’s impact on the peace process tonight at 7:30 at North Park University’s Anderson Chapel, 3225 W. Foster. It’s free; for more information call 773-244-5786.
11 TUESDAY After poring over reams of declassified papers and interviewing more than 300 policy makers, former war correspondent Samantha Power concluded that U.S. leaders not only knew about the genocides of Armenians, Bosnians, Cambodians, Iraqi Kurds, and Rwandan Tutsis, but more often than not could have done something to prevent them. In her new book, A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide, the founding director of Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy examines U.S. strategies abroad in the 20th century and takes politicians, diplomats, and the general public to task for sticking their heads in the sand. She’ll discuss her findings today at 4 at Northwestern University’s McCormick Tribune Center, 1870 Campus Dr. in Evanston (847-491-5401) and tonight at 7 at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 N. State (312-747-4080). Both events are free.
“When Billy Branch visited my class recently, 40 students with blues harps played chord changes behind him,” says musicologist and Center for Black Music Research education coordinator Johann Buis. “The students were truly on cloud nine.” Buis adds that working bluesmen such as harmonica player Branch and singer-guitarist Jimmy Burns “take the tradition from the hands of people like Little Walter and Willie Dixon and form a bridge between that generation and the hip-hop generation.” He’ll interview and play with Branch, Burns, and drummer and Rosa’s Lounge boss Tony Mangiullo today at 11:30 as part of a monthlong series of concerts, lectures, discussions, and film screenings called The Power of Black Music. The free event is at Columbia College’s Hermann D. Conaway Center, 1104 S. Wabash. The festival runs through March 17; for more information call 312-344-7459 or see www.colum.edu/blackhistory.
12 WEDNESDAY Same-sex couples in wedding outfits have been traipsing around the Loop and north side for the last few weekends, talking to passersby about why they should be allowed to marry (so they have access to such benefits as family health insurance and social security, among other reasons) and inviting them to tonight’s Freedom to Marry Reception. Speakers at the free event include Saundra Heath and Alicia Toby, plaintiffs in a landmark New Jersey same-sex marriage lawsuit; attendees are invited to sign copies of Lambda Legal’s Marriage Resolution–a short and sweet declaration holding that “the State should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitment to civil marriage.” The reception takes place from 7 to 9 at High Risk Gallery, 1113 W. Belmont. Call 312-663-4413, ext. 27, for more information; for a copy of the resolution see www.lambdalegal.org.
13 THURSDAY Filmmaker Mani Kaul helped move contemporary Indian cinema toward realistic examinations of everyday life with his first picture, Uski Roti (1970). The formally inventive film details the dreary existence of a young woman in rural India who sees her bus driver husband just twice a day, when he passes through their village on his long-distance route. Utterly subservient–though her younger sister urges her to assert herself–the woman spends her time preparing food to bring to him and waiting for him to return for his day off, during which he indulges in sex, sustenance, and sleep. Kaul, who’s currently an artist in residence at the School of the Art Institute, will discuss the film at tonight’s 8 PM screening at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, as part of the center’s “Conversations at the Edge” series. Kaul will also appear at screenings of two other films of his this spring: Siddeshwari (March 6) and The Servant’s Shirt (April 24). Tickets are $8; call 312-846-2800.