Browse Exhibits (2 total)

Chicago's Families: Finding Home

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A family can be a group of people sharing a name and a roof, but it can also extend far beyond parentage and household. This exhibit reflects on how we negotiate boundaries and links between the people and places we come from and who we find ourselves living among now. From housing relocations forced by war and economic crisis to the multilayering of our identities, to the migrating into new neighborhoods, we find and build community against all odds.

The CHICAGO’S FAMILIES project of the Chicago Cultural Alliance inspired our collaborative exhibit team to consider the ways in which a conventional construction of identity and belonging comes undone against the messy realities of contemporary existence.

We learned a great deal in our process of creating this exhibition. Perhaps most significant, sharing the stories of the many families whose experiences are presented here, made clear to us just how interconnected our seemingly unconnected communities really are.

Thank you for joining us on this journey.

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Chicago's Families: Displaced Persons


This collection comes from a joint exhibit, internationally circulated, "No Home to Go To: The Story of Baltic Displaced Persons, 1944-1952." 

This content is presented here as part of the Chicago Cultural Alliance's Chicago’s Families: Where Community Begins exhibit. Chicago's Families presents a one-of-a-kind montage of voices, memories, and experiences of families in Chicago. Unfolding at six sites throughout Chicagoland, this project explores the concept of family in different community contexts and demonstrates how cross-cultural collaboration can help us create new and alternative perspectives on the world. 

Chicago’s Families is an example of people coming together to share stories, break boundaries, and bring cultural understanding to the basics.

Here we see families coming together seventy years ago when Baltic people by the hundreds of thousands left their homes to escape war and the threat of Soviet oppression. They fled to the West by any means they could find. They traveled in fear and with hope of survival. But most overwhelmingly, they fled without knowing where they were going, what would happen or when they might return.  This virtual exhibit is only a small portion of the words, images and artifacts of Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian families and individuals who lived through this wrenching flight from home, years of living in displaced persons camps, and, finally, the journey to a new life in an unknown part of the world.

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