Originally posted on TED Blog:
What is the effect of violence on a life’s narrative? TED Fellow and photojournalist Jon Lowenstein has lived in the South Side of Chicago for about a decade — first working as a teacher, photographer and community liaison at an elementary school and subsequently engaging with his African American neighbors to document life in this rapidly changing part of the city. This short film, A Violent Thread, created for the New Yorker magazine, is part of his long-term, multi-pronged work documenting the transformation of Chicago. Lowenstein began this work with a project called “Chicago in the Year 2000,” an effort by more than 200 photographers to capture the city during that pivotal year. (The project was funded by the late Gary Comer, who founded Lands’ End and grew up in the neighborhood.) Lowenstein has since continued that exploration. He is now working on a book of still photos and South Side oral histories, of which this film is an offshoot.