Several years ago, transportation company Norfolk Southern initiated an expansion of its 47th Street Terminal by covertly buying property in the northeast corner of Englewood. Since the plans were publicized in September 2011, residents have been living on borrowed time, maintaining friendships and traditions while struggling with new problems in their vanishing community. This short is the first piece of a feature-length documentary about the neighborhood and its confrontation with the pressures of contemporary transportation infrastructure.
This video is part of a series profiling Chicago businesses, subcultures and landscapes. These short, lyrical documentaries aspire to be art cinema, ethnographies, and experiments in form.
David Schalliol is managing editor of Gapers Block and a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago; this project is an outgrowth of his research on social organization and disorganization in urban communities. Dave Nagel is a freelance shooter, editor and sound recordist. Brian Ashby's co-directorial debut, Scrappers, won Best Documentary at the 2010 Chicago Underground Film Festival and made Roger Ebert's top 10 list of documentary films for that year. Akemi Hong is Senior Designer at JB Chicago and an instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Assistant designer Natalia Echeverry is a recent arrival in Chicago from Colombia and a resident of Hyde Park.
The Grid is funded in part by the Chicago Instructional Technology Foundation Digital Media Production Fund.