Chantal Akerman (1950-2015) was a Belgian filmmaker and artist who contributed greatly to the development of avant-garde cinema. Born in Brussels, Belgium to Holocaust-survivors, Akerman frequently referred to her own personal and emotional history in her work, using her mother's letters as a basis for the soundtrack of News From Home and choosing to cast her depictions of society through the lens of the Second World War. Akerman is best known for her visual and conceptual masterpiece, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles., which continues to be a seminal work for filmography and feminist art to this day. Akerman presented the exhibition "Maniac Shadows" in 2013 and in conjunction with it also did a reading of her work "My Mother Laughs."