Individual Author Record
Name: Kari LydersenPen Name: None Genre: Non-Fiction Born: Sites:
Illinois ConnectionLydersen lives in Chicago.
Biographical and Professional InformationMs. Lydersen is a Chicago journalist, author and journalism instructor who specializes in covering labor, immigration, energy and environment stories. She is currently a research associate at the Medill Watchdog Project at Northwestern University and staff writer for Midwest Energy News.She has worked as staff writer in The Washington Post's Chicago bureau and wrote for the Chicago edition of the New York Times. Her writings have appeared in ''People Magazine'', ''Crain's Chicago Business'', ''The Christian Science Monitor'', ''In These Times'' magazine and other publications. She has taught journalism at Columbia College, the School of the Art Institute and with the youth program ''We the People Media''. A 1997 graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, Lydersen lives in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago, where she also leads mural tours.
Titles At Your Library
Out of the Sea and Into the Fire: Latin American-U.S. Immigration in the Global Age
ISBN: 1567513026 Common Courage Press. 2005
“Lydersen demonstrates that journalism still has the power to sway both hearts and minds.”—Brian Awehali, LiP Magazine
“We need solid reporting from the Spanish-speaking world, and Lyderson delivers it with grace, intelligence and a vigorous point of view.”—Scott Sherman, contributing writer, The Nation.
From the misty highlands of Chiapas or the idyllic coast of Hondurasto the harsh dry desert of the U.S.-Mexico border to a frozen street corner in Chicago or a sweltering tomato field in Florida these are the stories of Latin American migrants in the age of globalization.
Kari Lydersen writes for publications including The Washington Post, In These Times, Punk Planet and LiP Magazine and is a youth journalism instructor.
Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life and Resistance Under the Gun
ISBN: 087286491X City Lights Publishers. 2008
Wafaa Bilal’s childhood in Iraq was defined by the horrific rule of Saddam Hussein, two wars, a bloody uprising, and time spent interned in chaotic refugee camps in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Bilal eventually made it to the United States to become a professor and a successful artist, but when his brother was killed by an unmanned U.S. Predator drone, he decided to use his art to confront those in the comfort zone with the realities of life in a conflict zone.
His response was Domestic Tension,” an unsettling interactive performance piece: for one month, Bilal lived alone in a prison cell-sized room in the line of fire of a remote-controlled paintball gun and a camera that connected him to Internet viewers around the world. Visitors to the gallery and a virtual audience that grew by the thousands could shoot at him twenty-four hours a day. The project received overwhelming worldwide attention and spawned provocative online debatesultimately, Bilal was named Chicago Tribune’s Artist of the Year.
Structured in two parallel narratives, the story of Bilal’s life journey and his Domestic Tension” experience, Shoot an Iraqi is for anyone who seeks insight into the current conflict in Iraq and for those fascinated by interactive art technologies and the ever-expanding world of online gaming.
"Once I picked up this book, i could not put it down. There is something so urgent and compelling about Bilal's story, as though he is speaking to our time. His story is not just for those interested in the artsit is a human story of the horror, frustration, and tragedies of war." —Mary Flanagan, artist and author of re:skin
"This is an unsettling and gripping book. It poignantly recounts a dark and imaginative experiment inspired by an excruciating and ghastly reality. Its unsettling effects couldn't be more welcome: we desperately need to be shocked out of our collective zombification, and this book does that by leading us through a wild labyrinth at once aesthetic, political, and existential. Potent stuff." —Danny Postel, author of Reading "Legitimation Crisis" in Tehran
"Who in their right mind would allow the internet to shoot at them? Shoot an Iraqi: Art, Life, and the Resistance Under the Gun tells the story of Wafaa Bilal. When his brother was killed by an unmanned Military device during the Iraq war, Bilal took it locked himself in a room, a camera showing him to the world with a remote controlled paintball gun connected to the internet, in the name of art and political statement. Bilal explains himself quite well, making Shoot an Iraqi fascinating reading." —Midwest Book Review
"Weaving together accounts of Iraq and America, art and violence, performance and reality, past and present, this gripping account all but shakes the reader by the lapels." —Publishers Weekly
Iraqi-born artist Wafaa Bilal has exhibited his art worldwide, and traveled and lectured extensively to inform audiences of the situation of the Iraqi people, and the importance of peaceful conflict resolution. Bilal's 2007 dynamic installation "Domestic Tension" gained global recognition, being named Artist of the Year by the Chicago Tribune. Bilal has held exhibitions in Baghdad, the Netherlands, Thailand and Croatiaas well as at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Milwaukee Art Museum and various other US galleries. His residencies have included Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, California Catwalk in New New York and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Revolt on Goose Island: The Chicago Factory Takeover and What It Says About the Economic Crisis
ISBN: 1933633824 Melville House. 2009 Revised and updated, with a new afterword by the author
“There is much talk about ‘audacity’ these days, but true chutzpah is when the workers take over the factory and take on the bank. Kari Lydersen’s invaluable account of the Republic sit-down strike is an instruction manual for worker dignity.”
—Mike Davis, author of Buda’s Wagon and City of Quartz
December 5, 2008: It wasn’t supposed to work like this. Days after getting a $45 billion bailout from the U.S. government, Bank of America shut down a line of credit that kept Chicago’s Republic Windows & Doors factory operating. The bosses, who knew what was coming, had been sneaking machinery out in the middle of the night. They closed the factory and sent the workers home.
Then something surprising happened: Republic’s workers occupied the factory and refused to leave.
Kari Lydersen, an award-winning reporter, tells the story of the factory takeover, elegantly transforming the workers’ story into a parable of labor activism for the twenty-first century, one that concludes with a surprising and little-reported victory.
Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago's 99%
ISBN: 1608462226 Haymarket Books. 2014
How did a city long dominated by a notorious Democratic Machine become a national battleground in the right-wing war against the public sector? In Mayor 1%, veteran journalist Kari Lydersen takes a close look at Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel and his true agenda.
With deep Wall Street ties from his investment banking years and a combative political style honed in Congress and the Clinton and Obama administrations, Emanuel is among a rising class of rock-star mayors promising to remake American cities.
But his private-sector approach has sidelined and alienated many who feel they are not part of Emanuel’s vision for a new Chicagoand it has inspired a powerful group of activists and community members to unite in defense of their beloved city.
Kari Lydersen is a Chicago-based journalist, author and journalism instructor who has written for the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Progressive, In These Times, and other publications. She is the author of four books, including The Revolt on Goose Island: The Chicago Factory Takeover and What it Says About the Economic Crisis. She specializes in coverage of labor, energy and the environment. She has taught at Columbia College Chicago and Northwestern University and also works with youth from low-income communities through the program We the People Media. karilydersen dot com.