Walking has always been part of my artistic practice, and for me it became an intimate exploration of the issues of urban life. Change may be inevitable, but what change and at what cost? No matter what city you live in, we face many of the same issues of urban life. Walking Home asks viewers to consider the legacy of urban development in their own cities. What is the history of segregation, of economic development, of population shifts in your own city? How does the past manifest itself in your city today? Who has access to housing they can afford? What jobs are available? What resources do our cities provide to support and sustain residents? What sort of schools and educational resources are available? What cultural resources do we provide and who has access to them? Can economic development proceed without displacing residents who want to remain in their neighborhoods? Can we maintain the distinctive characters of our neighborhoods as cities grow and change? Who is profiting from urban development in your city? How do we hold city governments accountable to residents?
As I walked through the miles of city streets and neighborhoods, I considered the issues that face us. Walking is a meditation that connects me to the spiritual and to my creative center. It engages all my senses, making me more connected with and open to the world around me. I recorded my concerns and what I saw. In Walking Home I share those concerns and ponder the questions that face all of us as we navigate life in our own cities.
I am from Chicago, a place that is beautiful and deeply flawed. The overarching concerns of profit and prejudice that drove the flight to the suburbs are still driving gentrification today. I have lived, worked and played in the places I photographed. Sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively, walking home.