Author Archive for Harry Backlund

Playing the Advantage

Juan Moreno stands at the edge of a small astroturf soccer field and motions around at the encompassing school building that his architecture firm JGMA designed. This freshly built structure at 51st and Kedzie houses the United Neighborhood Organization’s (UNO) Soccer Academy, a school designed to incorporate academics with a soccer training campus.

In Peace

Stop for a moment and listen to me and answer this question if you can: What will your legacy be? When you must cross that great divide into an area from which none can hide. When you, alone, with no…

Long Live the Dead

The Day of the Dead is a living holiday. Rooted in a blend of meso-American traditions and Spanish Catholic rituals, the images that are today iconic– decorated candy skulls for loved ones lost, and the ornate skeletons of the catrina—…

The Whittier Sit-in

At 9am on October 25, as the bell of Pilsen’s Whittier Dual Language Elementary School rings for the start of classes, a group of about a dozen mothers gather at the entrance to the school’s field house, where, for 40…

CW Essay – Scraps of Paper

Under gold chandeliers in the basement ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Chicago, four of print media’s most influential figures spoke to several hundred members and guests of the Chicago Executive’s Club about the crisis of their industry and the troubling question that underlies it: what does it mean to provide “valuable content”?

Elementary Forms

In the center of the dark space a woman in black held a silver bowl. Around her stood a circle of seven women in simple dresses, three in dark purple, four in pale blue. Seated around them on the wooden…