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Film and Media Screening Series: ‘The Washing Society’ with Lizzie Olesker and Lynne Sachs
September 25 at 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Collaborating together for the first time, filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker observe the disappearing public space of the neighborhood laundromat and the continual, intimate labor that happens there. With a title inspired by the 1881 organization of African-American laundresses, The Washing Society (44 minutes, 2008) investigates the intersection of history, underpaid work, immigration, and the sheer math of doing laundry. Sachs and Olesker present a stark yet poetic vision of those whose working lives often go unrecognized, turning a lens onto their hidden stories, which are often overlooked. The juxtaposition of narrative and documentary elements inThe Washing Society creates a dreamlike, yet hyperreal portrayal of a day in the life of a laundry worker, both past and present.
Lizzie Olesker is a writer/director/performer whose plays and performances explore the poetry of the everyday. Lizzie presented her solo piece Tiny Lights: Infinite Miniature at the New Ohio Theater and Invisible Dog in Brooklyn. She was a 2013-14 Audrey Fellow with New Georges, with her new play, Embroidered Past, about family hoarding and loss of nature. Other plays have been developed and presented at Dixon Place, Brave New World Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, the Cherry Lane Theater and the Public. Published in the Brooklyn Rail and Heinemann Press, she’s received support from the Brooklyn Arts Council, New York Foundation for the Arts and the Dramatists Guild.
Lynne Sachs makes films, installations, performances and web projects that explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. Between 1994 and 2006, she produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, Italy and Germany—sites affected by international war—where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own subjective perceptions. Her films have screened at the New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival and Toronto’s Images Festival amongst others. They have also been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, Walker Art Center, Wexner Center for the Arts and other venues nationally and internationally. The Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Festival International Nuevo Cine in Havana and the China Women’s Film Festival have all presented retrospectives of Sachs’ films.
The Film and Media Screening Series is supported by the Diversity Council, the Student-Faculty Corporation, the School of Liberal Arts, and the departments of Film, Media and Performing Arts, English and Communication Studies, and Modern Languages and Cultures.
All screenings are free and open to the public.