CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago artist has created a project to show disparities among residents while bringing them together for conversation.
Tonika Johnson’s “Folded Map” multimedia exhibit features residents from opposite sides of the city and examines economic, racial and other types of segregation, the Chicago Tribune reported.
She began by connecting residents in her Englewood neighborhood with residents in a corresponding block on Chicago’s north side.
The 38-year-old asks residents how much they paid for their home and how they’d describe their neighborhood. She worked with the journalism lab City Bureau, where she’s a fellow, and Loyola University to develop questions to guide the discussion.
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Johnson captured the conversations in photographs and video recordings. The exhibit will open July 3 at Loyola University Museum of Art.
It got “people to open up their minds and question what’s going on in other neighborhoods in the city because of segregation,” Johnson said. “It’s not a fault of our own. We are operating within a system that was designed to segregate us.”
Residents from eight households have been introduced through the project, including Anne Troy of the Rogers Park neighborhood and Tina Hammond of Englewood.
Troy said she was surprised by the limited shopping options and abundance of vacant lots in Englewood.
“When you go down there — all the vacant lots, all the empty houses, all of this nothing,” Troy said. “It’s like ugh! It’s stunning.”
Hammond said the empty lots are a sign of the lack of investment.
“We want resources for our children just like other neighborhoods,” Hammond said. “We want restaurants, movie theaters, places you could go as a family without this stereotype, this perception of what they see because of the media and what they see in the paper.”
Information from: Chicago Tribune, http://www.chicagotribune.com