Contra Corriente Festival 2024
June 14-July 26

Contra Corriente returns in 2024, running from June 14 to July 26, continuing its mission of spotlighting the work of artists, activists, and organizations driving racial and environmental justice on the Southwest Side of Chicago and beyond. Since its debut at Chicago Art Department in the spring of 2022 with six inaugural artists, it has quickly become an annual initiative, hosting and collaborating on exhibitions and programs across multiple sites, bridging the space between art, environmental stewardship, and justice.

This year, the festival will enhance its support for artists and curators, deepen collaborations with local community spaces, and intensify its fight against environmental racism with dynamic art interventions, bilingual workshops, and engaging community events like educational picnics and bike and river tours on the Southwest Side. Each element of Contra Corriente is designed to catalyze discussion and action, with a focus on inclusivity and direct community impact.

The planning partners, program facilitators, participating artists, and community leaders involved with Contra Corriente all hail from communities that are not only impacted by environmental injustices but are also at the forefront of combating these issues.

Exhibitions:

Love, Land, Deception: Deconstructing the Patriarchy

Piecemeal (earthen works in progress)

Workshops / Facilitations (more currently developing):

Caracoleando: Poemas Naturales   “Poesía y Grabados / Poetry & Print”

A Felt Sense of Safety

we forage to weave kinship

Meditaciones Móviles: Un Recorrido en Bicicleta por la Comunidad Creativa

More coming soon!

Primary Festival Objectives

The festival has eight main objectives: (1) use art to bolster cross-community resilience and coalition-building between folx at the frontline of environmental racism while visibilizing silent and predatory capitalist complexes contributing to the toxification of BIPOC and working class neighborhoods, (2) uplift the work of activists, environmentalists, animal advocates and community members working to revolutionize food culture in Chicago, (3) support a growing coalition of young Latine and BIPOC leaders advocating for a life of abundance for South West Side residents through their creative practices, (4) Create more visibility for people of color invested in these issues, (5) advocate for a more equitable redistribution of the city’s resources, (6) create grieving spaces for BIPOC Chicagoans affected by pervasive environmental issues, (7) empower community organizers and environmentalists to identify as social practice artists, and (8) cultivate an understanding of the interdependent nature of the health of all regions of Chicago.



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