If there is something close to cinema withdrawal, it would be the sensation of having just returned from a trip to someplace both exotic and familiar. The Kansas City Underground Film Festival, which opened Sept. 16 and runs through Sept. 26, features 114 films, culled, says KCUFF’s director and co-founder Willy Evans, from 800 submissions requiring 400 hours of viewing by the KCUFF board. Represented are 27 countries, and 39 of the films are from filmmakers in Missouri and Kansas. The festival succeeds in presenting the familiar in its weirdness and the exotic in its commonplace.
The visual regimes of photography and film have long been accomplices to imperialist enterprises and state sanctioned-violence in rewriting the terms and tellings of history. Images, still or moving, have a way instructing us as much as they help us remember, and it is in this duality that parallel histories of dissent and oppression can be read simultaneously. Aftermaths is an exhibition bringing together artists with attachments to Latin America and the Arab world who engage photographic and filmic archives in order to unfurl the complexity of history and its visual records.
KANSAS CITY — Smack in the middle of flyover country and situated in the semi-industrial yet woodsy Volker neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, a shiny new beacon for community-driven arts incubation opened its doors in a former medical parts factory. The brand new, 20,000-square-foot Charlotte Street Foundation building celebrated its grand opening on June 11 and 12 with a ribbon-cutting, multiple exhibitions, and open studios. The $10 million transformation is evidence that sometimes DIY grassroots efforts can conduct multi-million dollar capital campaigns to build a state-of-the-art facility, while at the same time steadfastly holding on to an artist-driven core mission to support and catalyze a local artistic community.