November 15, 2018
The exhibit Burge Victims Speak photographs + audio by Amanda Rivkin features 17 photographic portraits and audio accounts of men who survived torture by Chicago police commander Jon Burge and his “midnight crew” between 1972 and 1993. The exhibit is on display November 20 to January 25 at Harold Washington Library Center, in the 3rd Floor Exhibit Hall.
The images document the men—many of whom served prison sentences for coerced admissions of crime—in their current-day lives.
Rivkin is a fellow at the Invisible Institute, a journalism production company on Chicago’s South Side. The organization is in the process of developing a public archive of the Burge cases, the future home of Rivkin’s photography and interview series.
The torture came to light when Chicago lawyer Flint Taylor received anonymous letters detailing systemic police torture inside Area 2 and later Area 3 headquarters. Investigation by the police oversight Office of Professional Standards concluded torture had occurred. In 2015, Chicago City Council passed a reparations ordinance that acknowledged the victims of officers serving under and with Burge.
Rivkin’s reporting was supported by the International Women’s Media Foundation’s Howard G. Buffett Fund For Women Journalists.