There are places that I am pulled to shoot more than others. On the Southwest side of Chicago, stands massive Silos, that stick off of the interstate like a monument to a forgotten world. These buildings I learned was the center of a community, they called it the Sky Factory.
The day I learned about the Sky Factory, I wandered back into the grounds just to take some images of the landscape and area. What I found was much more. I noticed some flower pots and a makeshift entrance to one of the buildings. It was clearly someones home. I began to semi loudly say “hello, hello”, not wanting to walk in the open door without an invitation even if it was an abandoned silo. I was soon greeted and brought into a small community that was squatting.
I later would come to find that these young adults were there by choice, “learning survival skills for the end of the world”. Led by Gone. Who later became the main subject in my series Gone Tomorrow. I first met Gone(who now goes by the name of Kara) several years ago. Gone was the mind and the driving force behind this community. It was obvious how they all looked to Gone for guidance, almost like a hero. He was a kind of hero. He actually built a boat and ran power across the river to the Silos which they called the Sky Factory. Why people gravitated towards Kara, myself included, was that she believed in what she was creating there, which was a place, “off the grid” in which a community could live peacefully and be self sustainable. The following images are from my time at the Sky Factory.
All images © Nicholas Pinto
By Nicholas Pinto