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Comfort Society : Chicago Neighborhood Family Portrait Project with William Estrada

THE CHICAGO NEIGHBORHOOD FAMILY PORTRAIT PROJECT is an ongoing project geared toward engaging people in their neighborhood. The projects focus is to provide families with a physical photograph that honors their story and questions whose stories are represented, who gets to claim neighborhoods, what effect race has on peoples experience, and what impact gentrification has on their lives. The process of photographing people and discussing who represents neighborhoods serves as a tool to create counter narratives that document the complexity of peoples experience and helps us deepen how race and gentrification affects people across communities.

In early 2014 the Awesome Foundation awarded the project seed money to create a free Mobile Photography Studio that allows anyone living within the Chicagoland area to participate in the project. As the project expands through a 3 Arts Project crowdfunding campaign it aims to accomplish the following:

1. Provide free photographs to families that wouldn’t necessarily have access to them.

2. Provide an opportunity for me as an educator and artist to talk to people in their neighborhood about their stories.

3. Produce photographs and possibly record stories that will allow for the creation of a public archive that documents how race and gentrification affects people in metropolitan areas.