Voices of Protest 

Voices of Protest offers unique events at the intersection of arts and activism. Writers from around the globe who are working in or visiting Chicago, including those who have inherited diasporic legacies from earlier generations, share work and reflections on the political situations that threaten free expression, in addition to the safety and well being, of artists everywhere. By featuring work that speaks out against, or has itself been subject to, censorship and other types of suppression, Voices of Protest emphasizes the importance of writing as a form of resistance and a means of establishing solidarity with oppressed and persecuted people everywhere. In the process, it highlights how refugees and other immigrants, and the oppressive policies that have brought so many here, have shaped the political and literary landscape of Chicago.

As part of the Guild Complex Voices of Protest programming, we introduce the new Press Room Series.

Press Room is a new series that asks what the first-person literary voice can add to important contemporary conversations in politics and current events. Press Room will be a series of live events, held quarterly, each organized around a widely discussed topic in the media at the time that directly impacts its community.  At each event we invite participants to use their given performance medium (poetry, prose storytelling, song, etc…) to tell their story that relates to the given topic from a first-person perspective.


Our inaugural program event will be a film screening of the documentary, U-Turn, by Guatemalan filmmaker, Luis Argueta

October 16, 2019
6:30pm – 9:00pm
Chopin Theatre
1543 West Division

Co-sponsored by the Chicago City of Refuge

The program will consist of an introduction of the film by the filmmaker and the 55-minute screening, followed by a brief panel discussion with the filmmaker and performance from local artists and authorities on the topic of immigration.

The film, U Turn,  tells the story of a group of Guatemalan immigrant women and children who broke the silence about the abuses committed against them at the Agriprocessors, Inc plant in Postville, Iowa and—thanks to the solidarity of the community that accompanied them and to the U Visa—transformed their lives.

Luis Argueta is a film director and producer whose work spans features, documentaries, shorts and episodic TV. He has also worked as commercial director, lecturer and teacher in the United States, Europe and throughout the Americas. Born and raised in Guatemala, Argueta is a US Citizen and has been a resident of New York since 1977. His film The Silence of Neto (1994) is the first Guatemalan film to have been submitted to the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film category. In April 2009, the British newspaper The Guardian listed Mr. Argueta as one of Guatemala’s National Living Icons, alongside Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchu and singer/songwriter Ricardo Arjona.



Stony Island Arts Bank
6760 S. Stony Island Ave., Chicago

Open visiting hours: Fri – Sun 12- 6pm
Through August 11th

More info & RSVP here.

Part of a collaboration between The Guild Complex and Rebuild Foundation presented along with, and in response to, Rebuild Foundation’s Objects of Care: Material Memorial for Tamir Rice on the Arts Bank lawn, this exhibit builds on the 2016 anthology of African American political art and poetry, Of Poetry and Protest: From Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin (WW Norton), to capture the transformative power that fuels social movements and sustains families and communities confronting state violence against black and brown youth.

Curated by Of Poetry and Protest Co-Editor/Guild Founding Director Michael Warr together with The Guild and Rebuild, the exhibit presents words and images featured in the book – portraits, poems, documentation, and creative response — alongside Present Absence, a five-channel video installation by Chicago artists Salome Chasnoff + Meredith Zielke that makes visible the lives of individuals killed by Chicago Police through intimate one-on-one interviews with their families and close friends.