In the online exhibit Picturing a New Life in Chicago, people who were forced to flee their home countries because of war, persecution or violence share photos and inspiring stories about adjusting to a new life here. Some of the photographers came to Chicago through a refugee resettlement program. Others sought political asylum.
The photographers created this exhibit using photovoice, a participatory research methodology. They took pictures over a four-week period and met in small groups at Sulzer Regional Library to discuss them. At the end of the project, they selected one of their images and wrote a story about it for an exhibit at Sulzer. The online exhibit showcases some of the works that were created over a four-year period.
The images and stories are archived in the Northside Neighborhood History Collection at Sulzer Regional Library, which houses records of immigrants to the area since the 1880s. The Forced Migration Photovoice Project contributes to the history of migration to Chicago by offering documentation from contemporary residents who represent over 20 different countries.
This project is a partnership among Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center, Heartland Alliance Refugee and Immigrant Community Services and Chicago Public Library. It is generously funded by the Hoellen Family Foundation through the Chicago Public Library Foundation.