Intention: This project is an opportunity to reorient ourselves towards nature. My intentions in participating are several: to show citizens of Chicago how to reconnect with nature so that people may connect to themselves; to develop an emotional connection with the water so that we are compelled to appreciate and protect it; to empower people to feel that the water is for them, and not for corporations; to become aware of the structural systems in place that exploit nature for profit; to view water and nature as a gift, and not as something to extract value out of; to reframe the mindset of nature being something to extract value from, towards a reciprocal relationship that gives back.
Bio: Anish is an urban planner, audio narrative storyteller, and community organizer, originally from Dallas, Texas. He moved to Chicago to start grad school at UIC in January 2019 after living in Washington DC for eight years. He’s interested in reconceptualizing and reimagining urban space in a way that allows for citizens to feel more connected to each other and to the earth. As a native Texan, Anish did not grow up near water, so living so close to Lake Michigan and having access to the beach is a fun and new novelty for him. Anish was a community organizer and activist for the south asian LGBTQ community, and for people of color more broadly, in the DC metro area. He worked as an international trade economist before switching careers to urban planning.