Marco Pavé takes Chicago.

One thing I have learned as an artist is how to properly use social media. I can't tell the number of times I have been in a new city starting out not knowing anyone then by hour one having a list full of people to contact and connect with. 

This week I made made the journey that many of my ancestors embarked on over 100 years ago  during the Great Migration. While driving up i-57 north, I could feel the energy of all the men, women, and children alike who hurried to Chicago and other northern cities to escape the oppression of the Jim Crow South. I also saw not a got dam thing for 8 hours traveling through the Land of Lincoln. 

Chicago is a great city, my people are roaming all about the streets of Chicago. I look at faces that feel and look so familiar I almost forget that I am 500 miles away. In all honesty I was a bit scared to travel to Chicago the first time, with all the news that they report, I thought I would be shot as soon as we rode into town. Obviously that did not happen, and No I did not just stay in the "good" parts of the city. I made my way to the South Side of Chicago to meet the first person that my trusty twitter account led me to. Mr. Scott Steward, a professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago State University. I ran across his twitter page when I was searching "Chicago Hip-Hop." I reached out to him trying to link up, and without hesitation he greeted me and sent me a DM, "come down to my office, i'll be here all day." 

I nervously make my way into building 815, which is US Bank, I was greeted by the most friendly security guards I had ever seen. I found the floor that Scott was on and walked into the hall where his office was. There was a large group high school aged kids all working on computers, they paid me no mind and continued to do their work. Scott greeted me, "What's up man, have a seat in my office, there are some others in the office as well, introduce yourself." There was 3 other young ladies in his office all sitting around talking about what seemed to be some issues that are affecting the black community, and yes it was. I introduced myself an we all immediately hit it off when they realized i was in town to connect and network and I was a social activist.  Scott made his way back into his office and formally introduced all of us and told them why I was in town. It was really like a divine moment when we all started talking and realized that we were all fighting for the same things in our respective cities. Moments ago they were all strangers, now we are all connecting and discussing ways we can all improve the black communities all around the world. Thank god for social media.

The next day, I connected with an amazing photographer by the name of Juan GarciaQuintero from Columbia, South America. He is a photographer and videographer in and around Chicago. I stumbled upon his twitter after a search for bloggers in the Chicago Area. We connected and he shot me a DM with his number and within 20 minutes we had a photo setup. 

Juan's work is amazing, it was mind blowing how we went from a twitter dm to taking some of the most amazing photos I have ever been apart of! 

Warm up shot! 

Warm up shot! 

Getting a feel for each other.

Getting a feel for each other.

Testing.... Shadows 

Testing.... Shadows 

City shots, lets explore. 

City shots, lets explore. 

I don't know where I am going, but it looks like it. 

I don't know where I am going, but it looks like it. 

DUH! 

DUH! 

If I caption this, i'll go to jail. 

If I caption this, i'll go to jail. 

Where can I go to escape the oppression? 

Where can I go to escape the oppression? 

We found us a rooftop! 

Standing tall.

Standing tall.

Do black lives matter up here? 

Do black lives matter up here? 

Dreams been bigger than life! 

Dreams been bigger than life! 

If I jump, I'll fly! 

If I jump, I'll fly! 

Follow your light 

Follow your light 

Reaching for headspace! 

Reaching for headspace! 

Unbothered, like a black girl.

Unbothered, like a black girl.

Tauheed Rahim IIComment