All posts by sebouhpeltekian2020

Preservation Chicago rallies to save historic buildings

Seb Peltekian
Medill Reports

In February, non-profit Preservation Chicago announced their annual “7 Most Endangered” list. All seven locations on the list–historically or architecturally-notable buildings and parks throughout the city–are threatened with demolition.

Follow the StoryMap to find these endangered sites, read more about their history, learn about the threats they face and see what can be done to save them. Continue reading

Caribbean-poet Christian Campbell addresses climate change, colonialism through his art

By Seb Peltekian
Medill Reports

“My friend from Guyana
was asked in Philadelphia
if she was from ‘Iguana.’”

Caribbean poet Christian Campbell read the lines to the audience of about 100 people. The audience, including many college students, chuckled at this clever word play and the absurd misunderstanding presented in the poem.

Campbell’s poetry captures the beauty and centuries of pain of his tropical islands. The current threat of climate changes and the legacy of colonialism, genocide and racial stereotypes weave throughout his work.

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‘Both Eagle and Serpent’ mixed media exhibit explores themes of cultural identity

By Seb Peltekian
Medill Reports

Luis Sahagun’s art exhibit “Both Eagle and Serpent” evokes the Mexican flag, which features an eagle holding a snake in its talons, as well as how Latin American immigrants arrive in the United States — by air or by land.

Sahagun’s artwork includes sculptures, paintings and installations to  explore cultural identity, history, spirituality, trauma and family. The exhibit is open through April 26 at the Chicago Cultural Center.

“For me, I think the show is really about thinking about culture in a more nuanced way,” said Sahagun, 37, an artist-in-residence at Michigan State University.

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Chicago ranked most welcoming city to immigrants, despite hurdles

By Seb Peltekian
Medill Reports

Chicago is the most welcoming city for immigrants in the country, according to the latest Cities Index of the New American Economy,  an immigration advocacy and reform organization.

“Chicago has a very pro-immigrant posture, which no doubt is to the benefit of the people we serve. Our local and state government bodies have been supportive,” said Peter Zigterman, director of World Relief Chicago, agreeing with Cities Index rating released in November. World Relief Chicago is the local office of World Relief, an international non-profit which helps immigrants adjust to life in their new country.

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Audio preservation recovers old classics in the heart of Chicago

By Seb Peltekian
Medill Reports

When Joe Tessone first opened the Mystery Street Recording Company in Lakeview in 2007, he envisioned a typical studio where bands would record music.

But now, the nondescript building at 2827 N. Lincoln Ave. houses one of the nation’s premiere facilities for audio preservation and restoration, a place recommended by the Library of Congress.

Tessone, 35, an expert audio engineer, splits his time between the studio and teaching audio arts at Columbia College Chicago. He digitizes and preserves audio stored on various media, including phonographs, open reel tapes and analog cassettes, as well as other even more obscure formats, such as Betamax and DAT (digital audio tapes). Continue reading

No clear home for Yang Gang

Seb Peltekian
Medill Reports

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Venture capitalist Andrew Yang announced the end of his run for the Democratic presidential nomination after mustering minimal support in the first two contests of the year, Iowa and New Hampshire.

So where will his supporters, affectionately known as the Yang Gang, turn?

“My heart’s broken but I’m probably going to have to support Tulsi because she supports UBI also,” said Nate Gallian, 19, a student at the College of Charleston, referring to Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). Universal basic income, or UBI, was Yang’s proposed “freedom dividend” — $1,000 a month to everybody in the country. Yang said that it would combat economic stagnation caused by automation.

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Trump comments threaten cultural destruction, says top archaeologists

By Seb Peltekian
Medill Reports

In a series of tweets posted on Jan. 4, President Donald Trump threatened to destroy 52 Iranian sites if “Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets.”

The tweet stated that the sites “could be important to Iran & the Iranian culture.”

The Iranian regime “is allowed to kill our people, they’re allowed to torture and maim our people, they’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people, and we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way,” Trump said aboard Air Force One the next day, according to NBC News.
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