Seventy-five years ago, the border town of Laredo, Texas became home to an unlikely annual celebration of George Washington’s birthday involving re-enactments of the Boston Tea Party by local white residents dressed as Indians. Today, the tribute to the founding father continues with an elaborate debutante ball attended by teen girls, many descended from the original settlers, dressed as Martha Washington in spectacular hand-made gowns. Las Marthas is a portrait of Laredo and the complex community of land-owners, border-crossers, seamstresses and re-enacters who invest their hometown with a sense of tradition, imagination and honor, finding meaningful connection to US history on land that was once Mexico. (Christina Ibarra, 2013, 69 min)
A partnership between Place Lab and Black Cinema House, this screening and conversation is part of a year-long film series exploring the complexities of neighborhood transformation and revealing the poetics of place.
The Moving Images, Making Cities Film Series is a cinematic companion to Place Lab’s Ethical Redevelopment Salon series and public convenings. Ethical Redevelopment makes the case for mindful city-building. By utilizing cross-city networks and cross-sector innovation, Ethical Redevelopment works to shift the value system from conventional, profit-driven development practices to conscientious interventions in the urban context. For more information on Ethical Redevelopment, visit Place Lab’s website at http://placelab.uchicago.edu/ethical-redevelopment/