Working in America at the Harold Washington Library

Photo: Tom Harris Photography

September 14, 2016–May 2017

A collaboration with Project&, Working in America is an exhibition and multimedia engagement that bridges photo essays, online forums, a radio series on NPR, and public programming. Debuting at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago, the exhibition will travel to libraries throughout the country.

Studio Gang designed the exhibition as a traveling show, where the exhibit infrastructure also serves as its shipping container. Like a steamer trunk, the display cases unhinge when they arrive via freight at their next destination. The interior spaces of the trunks serve as the gallery walls, displaying larger-than-life portraits of the American worker today.

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About the Exhibition

Issues of work and economic equity anchor several major conflicts of our time—a widening wealth gap, access to education and training, the housing collapse, and the ever-changing global economy pressuring people in their abilities to earn a living by patching together jobs. Through personal, authentic, raw and honest stories, Working in America explores the relationships between the social, cultural, physical and psychological realities shaping everyday life in the United States.

This traveling exhibition profiles the everyday lives and experiences of 24 people, representing the challenges, triumphs, and realities of Working in America. Project& Fellow and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Lynsey Addario captures the images and the stories of veterans, janitors, tech workers, farmers, caregivers, athletes, and more. The exhibition is complemented by the online community “Your Working Story,” where the public can contribute their own stories on what work and working means to them.

Photo: Tom Harris Photography