The Invisible Institute is a journalistic production company on the South Side of Chicago. Our mission is to enhance the capacity of citizens to hold public institutions accountable.
Among the tactics we employ are human rights documentation, investigative reporting, civil rights litigation, the curating of public information, conceptual art projects, and the orchestration of difficult public conversations.
The activities of the Invisible Institute cohere around a central principle: we as citizens have co-responsibility with the government for maintaining respect for human rights and, when abuses occur, for demanding they be addressed.
Our name began as a wisecrack. In 2000, writer Jamie Kalven and two collaborators were operating out of a vacant unit in a public housing highrise where the online human rights reporting platform The View From The Ground was born. With tongue in cheek, Kalven wrote that The View was published under the auspices of something called the Invisible Institute. The name stuck. Now, the name represents an unfolding adventure: a process of inquiry, exploration and relationship-building. As many of our projects center on themes of visibility and place, there is another meaning to our name: We seek to keep fellow citizens visible by resisting the forces that disappear certain individuals, populations and places.
We couldn’t do what we do without the generous support of our funding partners: the Reva & David Logan Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation.
Photographs by Patricia Evans
The Invisible Institute © 2016
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