Even if you don’t live in Chicago you have probably heard of the Englewood neighborhood located on the South Side.
It’s a rather isolated area of town. You can literally live your entire life in Chicago and never once even have to travel through Englewood.
But aside from being the place where Jennifer Hudson grew up, it’s also one of the most blighted and poorest sections of the city, and one of the most crime ridden. And, no doubt, you’ve heard about all the shootings that have been going on in the city making even international news. Not surprisingly many of them are happening in Englewood.
Some 506 murders in Chicago last year and, so far, the city is on a pace to beat that total. Though what’s never mentioned is that, this is actually an improvement from previous years when, back during the early 1990’s, for example, there were over 900 murders a year (nearly 950 in 1992) for a few years running.
But Englewood is still in very bad shape and photographer David Schalliol has been chronicling forgotten South and West Side Chicago neighborhoods that have been disappearing as he says: “Building by building, block by block.’
David Schalliol now has made a short documentary called The Area, for a video web series called The Grid, which profiles Chicago neighborhoods, cultures and landscapes, about a section of Englewood which is being wiped out to make way for a Northfolk Southern Railroad truck depot.
And thanks again to architecture and cultural critic Lee Bey, who, on his NPR/WBEZ-FM blog Beyond the Boat Tour (you probalby have to live in Chicago to understand that reference), profiled Schalliol‘s documentary, which you can see below.
As Bey says, “It’s not building by building, here. It’s the disappearance of an entire neighborhood. Natural or not.”