The newly-renovated James Stewart Film Theater at 185 Nassau Street will reopen this fall with a series of film screenings featuring award-winning guest filmmakers curated by Director of the Program in Visual Arts Martha Friedman. All screenings in the series are free and open to the public.
Visual Arts program faculty member Lynne Sachs, along with fellow filmmaker Lizzie Olesker, presents a screening of The Washing Society along with a post-screening discussion led by Professor of History and African American Studies Tera Hunter (recent winner of the Joan Kelly Memorial Prize for women’s history).
THE WASHING SOCIETY brings us into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there. Collaborating together for the first time, filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker observe the disappearing public space of the neighborhood laundromat and the continual, intimate labor that happens there. Inspired by Princeton professor Tera Hunter’s “To ‘Joy My Freedom: Southern Black Women’s Lives and Labors After the Civil War” — a depiction of the 1881 organization of African-American laundresses in Atlanta — Sachs and Olesker’s film investigates the intersection of history, underpaid work, immigration, and the sheer math of doing laundry.