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Conservation of Matter: The Fall and Rise of Boston’s Elevated Subway

Apr 07, 2015
12:00 pm
Snell Library 90

Conservation of Matter: The Fall and Rise of Boston’s Elevated Subway, traces the fate of 100,000 tons of steel from the Boston Elevated Subway, which was erected in 1898, demolished in 1987-89, then shipped eight thousand miles away to be melted and re-formed into steel bars. Those products then cross the ocean again, where they are ultimately re-fabricated into a remarkable new structure in a surprising location. Workers, historians preachers, politicians, artists, riders, architects, astrophysicists and street people on two continents address the significance of the process as it unfolds. 

We will also show rare films produced by the Super 8mm collective Jamaica Plain Newsreel.

Credits: Direction, Editing: Tim Wright // Principal Photography: Karen Ellzey, Michael Underwood // Music: Jusef Sharif

Neighborhood Matters is a lunchtime series that celebrates the ways in which community groups have shaped the neighborhoods surrounding the Northeastern campus. This series is co-curated by the Northeastern Center for the Arts and the Archives and Special Collections at the Northeastern University Library.

Lunch will be served.

Partners: Northeastern Center for the Arts and Archives and Special Collections, Northeastern Libraries. Special thanks to the Northeastern Department of City and Community Affairs.

Tim Wright is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, the founder of Blinktank, a collective of media producers and analysts, and a blogger for The Public Humanist. With degrees from Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and Harvard University, Tim has spent the past twenty years teaching and developing media production and media literary curricula at venues in New England, among them: Boston University, The University of Massachusetts, The Boston Film/Video Foundation, The Boston Children’s Museum, Cambridge Community Television, and the Massachusetts Foundation for the Humanities.

Tim has been designated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as a Creative Teaching Partner,developed seminars on Film and Architecture and Visual Literacy for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, and is a past member of the National Endowment for the Arts Advisory Committee on Arts Education. 

Tim’s documentaries include Conservation of Matter: The Fall and Rise of Boston’s Elevated Subway, winner of the 1996 New England Film/Video Festival and the 1997 U.S. Super 8mm Film & Video Festival, and Shooting the Strangler’s Wife, a documentary on the making of a Roger Corman produced ‘exploitation’ film.

The Archives and Special Collections at Northeastern University Libraries houses and carefully curates a diverse collection of historical records relating to Boston’s fight for social justice; preserving the history of Boston’s social movements, including civil & political rights, immigrants rights, homelessness and urban and environmental justice. They focus on the history of Boston’s African American, Asian American, LGBTQ, Latino and other communities, as well as Boston’s public infrastructure, neighborhoods, and natural environments.

The primary source materials they collect and make available are used by community members, students, faculty, scholars, journalists, and others from across the world as the evidence on which histories are built. An understanding of the past can help inspire the next generation of leaders to fight for economic, political, and social rights.