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Belonging:
Place, Power, (Im)Possibilities

A Virtual Exhibition Opening

Tonika Johnson
September 1, 2020 – April 10, 2021
Virtual Exhibit (Optimized for a Computer Screen)

The inaugural exhibition at the Chicago Justice Gallery featuring the work of Tonika Johnson

“Belonging: Power, Place, and (Im)Possibilities”, a powerful but nuanced exhibition by the celebrated Chicago photographer and conceptual artist, Tonika Johnson.

In a series of portraits and interviews, Johnson chronicles the ways in which nine young people have been made to feel they don’t belong in their own city. While Johnson’s portraits of young peoples’ experiences paint a grim picture of hierarchy, surveillance, entitlement and narrow mindedness, it is not a tale of defeat.

Through their own creative agency, young people push back against the politics of racism, exclusion and containment by creating their own “free spaces” and organizations that contest the commons.

In addition to the artwork, the exhibition features a mural by Joe “Cujodah” Nelson, scholarly research and an interactive map encouraging visitors to explore their own experiences with belonging and exclusion.