The View From The Ground
Q: What is The View From The Ground?
A: The View From The Ground was an online publication produced from 2001–2007 by Chicago journalist Jamie Kalven, photographer Patricia Evans, and technologist David Eads. Publishing from an office in a vacant unit at the Stateway Gardens public housing development, it was conceived as a human rights monitoring strategy: a vehicle for documenting conditions of life in abandoned communities.
Upon launching The View, Kalven noted in passing, with tongue in cheek, that it was published under the auspices of the Invisible Institute. Today the wisecrack has become reality: the Invisible Institute is a robust journalistic production company operating out of the Experimental Station on the South Side of Chicago.
During his years of immersion in high-rise public housing, Kalven sought to facilitate the work of other journalists – as source, fixer, colleague – in an effort to improve the quality of public discourse. (In 2002, On The Media reported on this aspect of his work.)
Today, in that spirit, we reboot The View From The Ground as a weekly roundup of developments and coverage on issues central to the work of the Invisible Institute.