Resiliency and Hope in South Chicago

At the Bush Community Garden of Hope, we did a bit of weeding and learned about the history of the garden, about desires and debates that become collectively articulated as people gather to create and maintain this space. We also learned about Trees Are Beautiful, a practice that seems to be as much about planting and caring for trees as it is about manifesting local resiliency in the face of the mega redevelopment project known as Lakeside, the former South Works plant site.  We were guided on a visit to the site and introduced to some of the local criticisms and forms of engagement, as well as to questions about the official narratives surrounding the project — a speculative, publicly subsidized hallucination, it is not clear that Lakeside will become reality in the ways the project developer and promoters would have us believe. But it is already very real in terms of the impacts it has already had on the lives of people living in the Bush neighborhood. For now, and maybe for a few decades still, the future of the site is not predetermined.

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