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Thread: Documentary on HOPE for Cairo, IL

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    Documentary on HOPE for Cairo, IL

    I'm planning on visiting Cairo next week to film a short documentary on how there is still hope in Cairo. I feel like every story every done on Cairo is about its death and destruction - basically an obituary on what was once a thriving city. I am looking to take a different angle and talk about how people still have hope there.

    From what I've seen on this site and all over the Internet, there is a lot of negative energy about Cairo's future. But I know there are people actively charging forward with the hope that its former glory can be restored. My goal is to bring forth that sentiment and let it be known to a wider audience.

    Right now, from superficial research, I see the BBQ joint on Washington Street as a potential resource to find some positive energy. If anyone can point me in the right direction in terms of who to speak to, that would be fantastic and greatly appreciated.

    If you yourself live in Cairo and wish to talk to me on camera, please let me know!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    That's cool - a buddy and I are going to drive down there next summer because of the things we've read on this site. Best of luck to you!

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    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    That sounds great I hope there is some hope to find there. Keep us posted.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Shemwell's Barbecue! Wish I had a chance to stop; it's supposedly among the best in the country, although the place really doesn't advertise or draw in tourists.

    I wish I had some contacts in Cairo. Supposedly, it's off the broadband grid -- dialup and satellite Internet access only -- so finding a contact there might involve the old-fashioned methods of telephone and U.S. Mail.

    Here's the most recent bit of good news out of the town: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/ar...960314,00.html

    In October, the group opened the Ace of Cups coffee shop and bookstore the first new business to launch in Cairo in four years. The windows are adorned with posters, and on the door is a carefully scripted sign in black Sharpie that reads "We Are Not For-Profit." Inside, the brightly painted walls are lined with stacks of used books. Johnston had invited friends to come and work at the coffee shop in exchange for free rent but got few takers. "A lot of people shook on it and then backed out," he explains. "A friend of mine basically told me, 'I want to live in a place that already has nice things,' as opposed to this plan of building nice things, which is what we're doing."

    Business is slow. Rapattoni and Johnston open the store each morning at 10 and stand around at the counter, waiting for customers. Cars lazily circle the block, their passengers peering in the windows, trying to understand the purpose of the incongruously cheery purple storefront. "What are they doing?" wonders Judson Childs, Cairo's mayor. "I drive by, and it doesn't seem to be a thriving business."

    The residents of Cairo are nonplussed by the newcomers, whose presence they view as voyeuristic and temporary. Johnston and his friends aren't the first to come into town with grand dreams of urban revitalization. "People in Cairo are used to people coming to help and then leaving," says Donna Raynalds, director of SIDEZ, a southern Illinois economic-development nonprofit.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  5. #5
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    Documentary on HOPE for Cairo, IL

    I would like to obtain more information on your documentary. I work for a federal agency that provides funding for redevelopment projects. Cairo, IL has a similar type of long standing economic challenge such as East St Louis.

    Please contact me!

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