Immigration, gender and race are all themes of work to be shown at Columbia College Chicago’s DocYourWorld festival May 3 and 4. The event will showcase a multitude of creative projects to push the boundaries of identity, or anti-identity.
The DocYourWorld festival is an opportunity for Columbia College students from a variety of majors to collaborate by creating and curating the event. The exhibition will include non-fiction documentary works by the students themselves, faculty members, as well as outside submissions from students of other schools and professionals.
“Documentary does not fit into a box, it’s not just film. It’s radio, it’s photography; there’s even interactive documentary,” said Jessica Siletzky, a CCC freshman organizing the event.
Based on this broad horizon of what is documentary, the exhibition will feature a variety of works and live performances, including spoken word, dance, and even an interactive drag show to exemplify this year’s theme: anti-identity.
This is the fourth year CCC has created and hosted DocYourWorld. This is the first time, however, that the event has been solely curated by CCC students, unlike previously when faculty produced it.
Eric Scholl, associate chair of the Television Department and filmmaker, said DocYourWorld will be part of a new interdisciplinary documentary major recently approved by the college.
“We’ve been doing DocYourWorld for the past few years as an interdisciplinary event, and from that event we said, ‘Why don’t we have this as a major?’”
The new course major launched this spring semester at CCC, co-taught by Scholl and Teresa Puente, associate professor of Journalism, as well as Ruth Leitman, assistant professor of Cinema Arts and Sciences. The course, titled DocYourWorld, is just like the festival, with students actually developing and curating exhibitions.
“We’re really excited,” Leitman. “This group has been working on it for the past four or five years.”
Elly Tier, a senior Cinema Arts and Science major at Columbia, serves as the talent coordinator for the event. Tier, whose duties include booking and scheduling talent, wished this new major was approved sooner.
“I am jealous that it is happening after I graduate, because that is something that I have not heard of, as a student, in other colleges,” she said.
DocYourWorld, Tier stressed, is unique to Columbia College Chicago, adding “It came out as a sort of passion project from teachers; it’s kind of bound to be something amazing.”
Tier also strongly advises other CCC students to get involved with the program in the future.
“Columbia is full of kids who are ready to do professional style work,” she said. “They are ready to make things and work in the real world, but I don’t see enough of my peers actually going forward to showcase it in front of an audience.
“Something like DocYourWorld,” Tier added, “is where a dancer literally can show their piece to not just their department but the entire student body with mixed people. It’s limitless the amount of opportunities that can come out of that.”
The diversity of students collaborating for this event is unique, Puente said. “We have students from the film department, journalism, television, dance–we even have some students from China,” she said.
- The DocYourWorld 2016 festival
- 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday May 4, and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday March 4
- 1104 S. Wabash Ave., in Film Row on the 8th floor and in the Doc Center on the 4th floor
- A different set of creative works is scheduled for each day.