Lesbians in a box. That’s how I think of the trove of over 2000 snapshots that are the heart of my film, Lives: Visible. The photos were taken by Norma and Virginia who lived together as a lesbian couple in Chicago’s East Rogers Park neighborhood for almost 50 years. They died in their 80s leaving behind snapshots of them- selves and their friends spanning over four decades, 1936 -1975.
Lives:Visible is the second and final film I created using Norma and Virginia’s photos. The first film, Leftovers, focused exclusively on Norma and Virginia during the last decade of their life when they were cut off from family and friends. Lives:Visible expands the story to explore the cultural and historical context of the photographs. Lives:Visible uses two cultures – Chicago’s vibrant pre-Stonewall lesbian community and the Kodak snapshot – to explore the ephemeral nature of all cultures, even life itself.
I received generous support from 3Arts.org, which helped me crowd fund this important film. The 3 Arts Foundation provided a third of the funds raised with a matching grant.