November 19, 2019
$14 – $20
DETROIT 48202: CONVERSATIONS ALONG A POSTAL ROUTE is a feature documentary that examines the rise, demise, and contested resurgence of Detroit through the lens of an African-American mail carrier, Wendell Watkins, and the community of committed residents he faithfully served for thirty years.
We take a journey with Wendell along his route, which winds through the center of what was, once upon a time, a vital and thriving city. We listen in on his conversations with his customers – the resilient Detroiters who share stories of resistance: pushing back against racial segregation in housing; challenging industrial and political disinvestment, and living on reduced pensions as a result of the municipal bankruptcy. Our characters also share stories of hope and propose creative ways to re-imagine an inclusive, productive, equitable and re-invigorated city.
We also meet legendary labor organizer, General Baker, Historian Thomas Sugrue, and Urban Planner June Manning Thomas, who provide a thread of analysis and historical context.
DETROIT 48202: CONVERSATIONS ALONG A POSTAL ROUTE is urgent. It asks us to ponder: will the resurgence of Detroit center on a high tech, and increasingly white downtown and follow the normative model as other urban spaces in crisis – or, will it opt to focus on the vast stretches of neglected neighborhoods that continue to deal with a 40% poverty rate, water shutoffs, tax foreclosures, poor transportation, and a school system in crisis?
Pre-show meet and greet with Film Director, Pamela Sporn
Post-show panel discussion with the director Pamela Sporn
Artist biography: Pam Sporn is a Bronx based documentary filmmaker, educator, and activist. She loves listening to people tell stories about standing up to injustice in their own unique, subtle, and not so subtle, ways. A pioneer in bringing social issue documentary making into NYC high schools in the 1980s and 1990s, Pam substantively contributed to the growth of the youth media movement.
In addition to DETROIT 48202: CONVERSATIONS ALONG A POSTAL ROUTE, Pam’s work includes the documentaries CUBAN ROOTS/BRONX STORIES, WITH A STROKE OF THE CHAVETA, REMEMBERING THE MAMONCILLO TREE, and DISOBEYING ORDERS: GI RESISTANCE TO THE VIETNAM WAR. Pam has received numerous grants and awards including: JustFilms/Ford Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Puffin Foundation, Latino Public Broadcasting, CUNY Caribbean Exchange, and the Bronx Council on the Arts.
On Screen/In Person is a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Lab Theatre II
1333 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
Parking is limited around the theater. Please use ride shares or public transportation like the free DC Street Car.