James Thindwa is a 28-year veteran of political activism. He joined Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff (Chicago ACTS) in June 2009. His work involves building civic and political support toward the effort to organize charter school teachers. Prior to that, Thindwa served as executive director of Chicago Jobs With Justice, a labor-community coalition that promotes workers rights. During the 1970's and 1980's Thindwa participated as a student leader in the anti-apartheid movement. His other endeavors include serving on the boards of Illinois Labor History Society, In These Times magazine, where he is also a writer, and CAN TV. On March 2009, Thindwa was the featured subject on PBS's Bill Moyers Journal.
This post-show discussion immediately followed the performance of The Island, Remy Bumppo Theatre Company's current mainstage show. Athol Fugard's daring drama is set in an unnamed prison based on the one where Nelson Mandela was held. John and Winston are cellmates who spend their days doing back-breaking labor, and their nights rehearsing Sophocles' Antigone to present to their fellow inmates. When John learns his sentence is being reduced, the men's friendship is tested. Fugard plays the parallels between Antigone's fight against political and patriarchal boundaries off of the imprisoned men's fight for their dignity. The Island is a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.
Recorded Thursday, February 25, 2010 at The Greenhouse Theater.