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Around The BLOC published by Studio Racine is a photography project made by young boxers from the West Side of Chicago. The book opens with photographer Jacob Pesci documenting the team of young fighters at The BLOC, a nonprofit boxing gym located in West Humboldt Park. The following chapters of the book project are the culmination of a 10-month photography workshop made in collaboration with the boxers of The BLOC. Looking at the life-altering events of 2020, such as the global COVID-19 pandemic and Civil Unrest triggered by the murder of George Floyd, the students explored their current world, community, and the impact of their unique voice and perspective. Fighters anchored their image-making with individual writings based on their life experience as a young person coming of age in today’s everchanging social atmosphere. Founder and Director Jamyle Cannon writes in his opening essay “What you see in this photobook is revolutionary. Here, nuanced stories of joy, pain, and the mundane radiate from the lives they impact. Placing a camera in the hands of our fighters, instructing them on its use, and turning them loose in their community has empowered young people with a voice often reserved to those meant to exploit them.”


Proceeds go directly to the fighters who contributed and The BLOC Chicago to continue their exploratory learning programs. The workshop was built and lead by Jacob and Haley Pesci of Studio Racine, Designed by Shelf Shelf and printed in Venice, Italy by Grafiche Venezia. This project was made possible by the funding and support of The Albert P. Weisman Award and the Diane Dammeyer Initiative.

Around The BLOC

  • 1st Edition of 1,000 copies.  


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