The Fight for East Chicago: Portraits of Resistance and Daily Life

By Elly Fishman and Alyssa Schukar, Chicago Magazine

Residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Indiana have been instructed to evacuate as a result of the dangerously high levels of lead in the area’s soil. West Calumet is situated on top of what used to be Anaconda White Lead Company; it also lies in close proximity to a former lead plant. In response, many families started testing their children, and in turn found blood levels to exceed the hazard level.

Photojournalist Alyssa Schukar captured portraits of residents in the affected community. “Everyone deserves the right to exist and live in a clean environment,” says Schukar. “These are people who are often overlooked and trying to figure out how to hold it all together and to keep some semblance of community. I want to help amplify their voices.”


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