This is Milwaukee Talking

Published on May 07, 2020
by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

This is Milwaukee is a year-long collaboration with photographer and artist Kevin Miyazaki and independent journalist Mary Louise Schumacher and is advised by one of our amazing HAL partners Dr. Arijit Sen. The project investigates the state of democracy and citizenship in the year leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Their website states,

"We started the “This is Milwaukee” project in April of 2019, as our community began preparations to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. Our core question is designed to inspire people—our subjects, our audience and ourselves—to reflect on democracy in a deeply personal way. We ask everyone, “What is democracy, for you?”

That community conversation felt relevant in a time of political polarization and coarse civic discourses. Today, in the midst of a pandemic that we could not have foreseen, it feels equally as urgent, if not more so.

We have interviewed nearly 100 Milwaukeeans who embody the notion of citizenship. Our project is a direct encounter with those individuals, many of whom are doing heroic work for our city right now. What does democracy look like here? We believe we are witnessing an answer as Milwaukee responds to Covid-19.

We started this project, too, with a desire to quietly reclaim space online, where people are overwhelmed and politically manipulated. Now that so many of us are huddled together online, finding connection but also confusion and stress, we hope we these interviews can inspire and be a respite.

With this in mind, we are sharing short interview segments, recorded in the very recent past, on Facebook and Instagram. Longer segments can be found on this website, which will be updated with new interviews regularly, up until the time of the DNC, postponed from July until August because of the health crisis.

We’re also experimenting, at the instigation of Adam Carr, one of our subjects, with bringing our subjects together for online conversations. We call them “This is Milwaukee Talking.” The first one included Carr, a historian, community organizer and journalist; community advocate Camille Mays; and Arijit Sen, associate professor of architecture at UWM."

View the full website here: This is Milwaukee

Watch the March 23rd online community conversation below and find the rest of the conversations that took place on April 6 and 20th and May 4th on Milwaukee's local story page.

Adam Carr, who is an artist, journalist, media maker and historian of Milwaukee moderates and organizes these conversations about democracy and the future with Milwaukee citizens who love this city.