This event is in the past.

Streetwise Revisited: A 30-Year Journey


Central Library Downtown
Sept. 15-Nov. 3 2016


  Save Event

In July 1983, Life magazine published a story by Cheryl McCall with photographs by Mary Ellen Mark about the place that was that year being touted as America’s most livable city: Seattle. But rather than contentment, the story, called “Streets of the Lost,” displayed a crush of homeless teenagers scraping by in the heart of downtown through prostitution, pimping, drug dealing, and whatever other hustle they could muster. Sound familiar? The unforgettable Life piece and the film that followed it, Streetwise, directed by Mark’s husband, Martin Bell, could be made today in Seattle, with only the details changed. In this era of “emergency” homelessness, as the mayor has named it, Seattle Public Library is organizing an entire season of events around what’s come from those first days of Mark and McCall roaming the streets of Seattle in 1983. There will be screenings both of Streetwise and of Bell’s new film Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell, which follows one of Streetwise’s subjects, a woman still in Seattle, still struggling 30 years on. Photographer Mark died in 2015, and her images from Streetwise remain a landmark in the history of documentary imagery. The library will exhibit about 60 of them on loan from Aperture, and host discussions about art, documentary, social disaster, and Seattle today. Every person in Seattle should see these films and photographs, and consider, despite the lasting power of the art, why things don't change. JEN GRAVES

Central Library

1000 Fourth Ave, Seattle, WA 98104
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm
Sunday, 12-6pm

Venue Hours
  • Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm
    Sunday, 12-6pm
Event Times
This event is in the past.
  • Sept. 15-Nov. 3 2016