Voids of Exclusion, 2018 © Civic Projects
Voids of Exclusion, 2018 © Civic Projects

Voids of Exclusion

Chicago has systematically withheld the rights of citizens over the course of the last forty years. In 2015, the City acknowledged their victimization under Commander Jon Burge.

“WHEREAS, the City of Chicago acknowledges that former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge and detectives under his command systematically engaged in acts of torture, physical abuse and coercion of African American men and women at Area 2 and 3 Police Headquarters from 1972 through 1991; and

“WHEREAS, the acts of torture committed by Burge and detectives under his command included electrically shocking individuals on their genitals, lips and ears with an electric shock box or cattle prod; suffocating individuals with plastic bags; subjecting individuals to mock execution with guns; physical beatings with telephone books and rubber hoses; and other forms of physical and psychological abuse …” City of Chicago Ordinance

This image maps documented crime throughout the City where valleys represent the highest rates of crime. Moments where rights of citizenship were obliterated are represented as voids.

In a society where the police’s mission includes “protecting the lives, property, and rights of all people,” it was the police who stripped the citizenship of primarily African American residents. The numbers of these crimes and extent of their impact cannot easily be recorded.

In 2015, it was further alleged that the police have disappeared more than 7,000 people at an interrogation warehouse in Homan Square.

The Guardian, 19 October 2015

Monica Chadha and Nelly Agassi

Monica Chadha, AIA, LEED, is a Chicago based architect. Her firm, Civic Projects is a hybrid architecture practice that takes a participatory approach to design. She works collaboratively with communities and organizations to develop projects that address community revitalization. These projects expand the role of architecture in neighborhoods, utilizing both small scale and long-term strategic thinking. civic-projects.com | @civicprojects | @mccivicprojects

Nelly Agassi lives and works in Chicago as an artist in performance, installation, video, textile and paper. She addresses the idea of the body and notion of intimacy within public space in relation to architecture. She has received awards from the Nathan Gottesdiener Foundation Prize, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and from the Israel Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport. Agassi has shown in Warsaw, Jerusalem, Milan, the US and London. nellyagassi.comdvirgallery.com/artist/nelly-agassi