...is a portrait series that honors family bonds and heritage through the great migratory experience of African Americans moving to Chicago.  Photographer Nicole Harrison honors this legacy by using portraiture as a way to build upon one’s family tree and to document their existence through imagery and narratives.

The intent is to spark dialgoue that reflects on the unique connections Chicagoans share to the south while also using portraits as a way to archive our families into history and to build upon a tradition of photo exchanges as forms of communication.  These images work to acknowledge a pivotal moment in time that altered Black people’s lives, families and identities.
As the first installement in this series, LEGACY reflects on Harrison’s maternal grandmother’s story and experience migrating from Jonestown, Mississippi to Chicago’s Westside.  As a method of entry, she interviews then photographs her relatives as a process towards gaining a deeper understading of her family’s narrative.  She then works with each relative to explore ideas of how they should be captured.  As a result, the images displayed are more of a negotiation process between the artist and subject in helping shape the way each person wants to be represented in connection with the overall body of work.

This project is the initial start of what Harrison hopes to be an important moment for Chicagoans interested in mapping their family’s history.  The use of their portrait with their participation in making the image is to empower each of us to have control over our own representation, spark dialogue that reflects our experience, and to strengthen family history archives.

LEGACY is a part of the Floating Museum’s Cultural Transit Assembly.  Images are on display on the CTA Pulaski Green Line stop.