Belonging: Place, Power, (Im)Possibilities Exhibition
Physical + Virtual Exhibition Design
Tonika Lewis Johnson / Chicago Justice Gallery
Tonika Johnson chronicles the ways in which nine young people have been made to feel they don’t belong in their own city in a series of portraits and interviews. 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.
Due to COVID-19, both Johnson and Chicago Justice Gallery wanted to put out a virtual exhibition that made the content available to all. We developed an interactive parallax website, where visitors can scroll through portraits, listen to interviews, add content to the interactive map, and experience “alternative spaces” through a change in scrolling direction.