In a year that brought layers of complexities in an already complex city, this body of work expanded beyond what was meant to be journey of self-exploration, into a time capsule of Chicago in a year 2020.
Just over 20 years ago at the age of 20, I moved to Chicago from a small farming community in South West Iowa. The year 2020 is symbolic for my time spent in this city. Throughout the course of a single year, I have been embarking on a journey of self-exploration by making photographs in all 77 of Chicago’s neighborhoods. I seek to understand my place in the Chicago, why I was drawn to the city, and how it has shaped who I have become.
During this journey, I have been adapting to the unique circumstances and challenges presented throughout the year while maintaining the integrity of the original scope of the project. I’ve been tackling this self-discovery while navigating through social unrest, political unease, an economic collapse, and through a pandemic. While I wear a protective mask and explore the city, I’m uncovering hidden treasures among the emptiness, beauty in humanity, and empowerment through injustice.
This work evolved far beyond its original intention in the most symbolic possible way. In a single year I’ve been emotionally, socially, mentally, and physically challenged while trying to simultaneously document a city experiencing similar challenges. By presenting the work in sequential order, I ask the viewer to go on this journey with me as it unfolds.