Chicago’s segregated residents are unexpectedly turning into pals in a challenge that an artist hopes will smash obstacles and stereotypes.
When Tonika Johnson began photographing homes with corresponding addresses within the city’s North and South sides in her Folded Map Project, she determined to convey the residents together. The North Side is a largely prosperous, white space, whereas the South Side is historically African-American, and has suffered with poverty and gun violence.
“It just naturally evolved into me one day asking one resident if they wanted to meet their ‘map twin’ resident,” Johnson said. “And they said, ‘yes.’ And I was like, oh my gosh, what am I going to have them talk about?”
Johnson requested “awkward but necessary” questions comparable to how a lot they paid for his or her home. On the challenge web site, movies of those interviews be a part of photos of their houses aspect by aspect to focus on the impact of many years of segregation and disparities in city sources – and the way things can change.
It opened the eyes of Jonathan Silverstein and his spouse Paula Hermann, who get pleasure from many retailers, eating places and meals markets in Rogers Park on the North Side.
“I guess it is really striking, you know, how lucky we are, and we certainly don’t think of ourselves as living in a rich neighborhood but compared to some we are very privileged,” he said.
Their South Side ‘map twin’ Maurice Perkins in Englewood must journey far simply to discover a grocery retailer.
“They couldn’t even imagine being in a community, or a community not having the things that, it’s, I guess, basic necessities,” said the area people chief and rapper.
The assembly together with his ‘map twins’ was encouraging, he said. “There was, like, a genuine connection, right? It was, like, nothing forced or fake.”
Inspired by the latest US racial justice protests, Johnson plans to increase Folded Map into different neighbourhoods, and add sources on her web site for individuals to assist desegregate their own cities.
“I’d like to think maybe it’s the start of a movement,” Silverstein said of the challenge. “I’d love to see more and more people in the city start to build these relationships.”
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