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Magnum News
July 18, 2013
Taken over a course of three years beginning in 1946, Wayne Miller’s images of Chicago's South Side chronicle a community of thousands of African Americans, almost exclusively from the South, that settled in the city during the Great Migration of World War II years. The black-and-white images provide a visual history of Chicago at the height of its industrial order-when the stockyards, steel mills, and factories were booming-but, more important, they capture the intimate moments in the daily lives of ordinary people.

Now over 60 years later, Miller’s photographs are contributing to a large scale revitalization project in the very neighborhoods they were originally taken. SEE POTENTIAL is a public art and community engagement project that harnesses the power of documentary photography to mobilize social change by providing historical context to present day residents. Large-scale documentary photographs are installed to visualize community-driven development plans for Chicago's South Side and to tally support for each idea. The primary goal is to enable residents, community leaders, and elected officials to visualize the potential for sustainable, locally owned community development and to mobilize community support behind great ideas.

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