Screaming Xicago: How Identity Built the Lower West Side
Cunningham, Kiran, 1961-
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This report utilizes the majority Mexican Chicago Neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village alongside the majority suburb of Cicero to examine the relationship between space and power. Specifically, the communities within the aforementioned neighborhoods have a history of radical placemaking, including a mural movement, the creation of a multitude of community organizations, the development of autonomous ethnicized economies, and the community-led construction of several physical institutions including a high school, a health center, and a museum. This construction of place and community is reflective of a heightened political power within these neighborhoods. Moreover, in Cicero, this same type of placemaking is not present, and neither is that power. Ultimately, this paper will argue that where there is community driven placemaking— specifically that which puts identity at the forefront— there will more likely be political engagement.