Beekeepers of North Lawndale

Beekeepers of North Lawndale is a short-term personal project I shot in Chicago in 2017, collaborating with North Lawndale Employment Network. It is an organization that assists individuals returning from incarceration by providing transitional jobs in beekeeping.

Operating within an urban setting, their apiaries extend to unconventional locations, such as O'Hare Airport. With high unemployment rates and a lack of public funding, North Lawndale stands as one of Chicago's most economically disadvantaged areas, and the founder of NLEN, Brenda Palms Barber, is committed to narrowing racial wealth and income gaps by creating opportunities for local residents.  

I have spent a week with the beekeepers, photographing them at work, and have also documented the area of North Lawndale and its residents, capturing the essence of the neighbourhood.  

I shot this story as I was interested in exploring the complex relationship between bees and humans, and different ways in which nature affects our lives.