News & Events, Spring 2018

Saturday 02/03/2018

Dianna and George (1969). 

Quijote Talk: George Gittoes


50-Year Journey Back to America: Chiraq
Thursday, February 8
132 W 21st Street, 6th Floor
6:30 PM
Free and open to the public

George Gittoes first came to New York in 1968 after the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. to do work supporting the Civil Rights Movement. Now, 50 years later, things have not gotten much better for African Americans. Gittoes has returned to the U.S. and based himself in South Chicago, or "Chiraq," to make a new feature documentary called White Light. Gittoes' talk will be about this 50-year journey back to the original issues that brought him here so long ago. The journey has included confronting most of the wars of those five decades, including those in Cambodia, Nicaragua, Bosnia, Somalia, Rwanda, Palestine, Northern Ireland, South Africa, Iraq, and Afghanistan. "It is shocking that one of the worst and most dangerous war zones I have faced is now in the U.S.," writes Gittoes.

George Gittoes was born in 1949 in Rockdale, Australia. As a child he performed puppet shows to aid the Red Cross, and has used art and film to continually create in the face of militarist destruction. In 2008 Gittoes and his partner Hellen Rose established the Yellow House in Jalalabad, Afghanistan as a creative sanctuary and media training center. His paintings have won the Blake Prize for Religious Art twice and he has been making award-winning films since 1974, including Bullets of the Poets (Nicaragua), Soundtrack to War (Iraq), Rampage (Miami), Miscreants of Taliwood (Pakistan), Love City Jalalabad and Snow Monkey (Afghanistan.) In 2015 he was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, and in 2016 his autobiography Blood Mystic was published by Pan Macmillan. Gittoes is presently shooting White Light, a film in support of Black Lives Matter, and continuing to expand the Yellow House in Jalalabad.

Quijote Talks take place in our library on 21st Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues in Chelsea, usually on Thursdays at 6:30 pm. Named after our favorite after-lecture hangout, El Quijote in the Chelsea Hotel, and inspired by the knight errant himself, this new series consists of pointed talks and discussions about relevant pasts and possible futures. See our full lecture series archive here