“I’m afraid Chicago is dying. There is some semblance that society is running as normal. But as soon as you go two blocks outside the downtown radius, it’s a wasteland.” Chicago Rapper Lupe Fiasco
This past year saw increased bloodshed in Chicago. An almost 20% rise in murders pushed the total murders to 506 for 2012. Chicago’s South Side has experienced major changes over the past decade. Covering more than half the city of Chicago, the area has seen the dissolution of the world’s largest public housing developments, a multi-million dollar rehabilitation of the lakefront area as well as a spike in crime and violence in neighborhoods like Englewood, South Shore, Little Village and other South Side communities. While mass murders in Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut have caught the attention of political leaders the violence continues on a day to day basis in Chicago’s most violent neighborhoods. Although Chicago’s the third largest city in the country it had the most murders of any city in the United States. It remains to be seen what will be next for the city’s most impoverished communities.
Photographer Jon Lowenstein, recently received a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for South Side, his decade long project documenting the lives of the people living on the South Side in an attempt to give an accurate reflection of life in one of the most segregated cities in the United States.