All posts filed under: Midwest America

Burge Victims Speak (in progress)

“Torture can be an open secret in a democratic society. Apparently, successive Chicago police superintendents suppressed internal investigations that revealed torture, successive state’s attorneys knew of the torture but refused to investigate, and the state’s Felony Review Unit knowingly elicited and used tortured confessions. Approximately one-third of the current Cook County criminal court judges are former assistant state’s attorneys or Area 2 detectives who were involved in the torture cases. Courts and the public will also look the other way.” – Darius Rejali, Torture and Democracy

Art Works Projects Exhibits Touring Europe

Big news! My first museum show is opening in a little over a week. Here is a little teaser from Art Works Projects: Exciting exhibits are touring Europe – ART WORKS is bringing “Sanctuary and Sustenance” to Cologne and “Sustenance: Chicago and the Food Chain” to Milan! Thanks to our collaborators Amanda Rivkin Photography, the U.S. Consulate General Milan, Manifest Media, and Art und Amen.

Sustenance: Chicago + the Food Chain Opening at Art Works Projects

625 AT 6:25 January 14 “Sustenance: Chicago + the Food Chain” Exhibit Opening! Amanda Rivkin & Heriberto T Quiroz look at food access for Chicago’s children Opening Reception on January 14th Please join photographers Amanda Rivkin and Heriberto T Quiroz along with WBEZ’s Monica Eng for a reception and community conversation to mark the launch of Sustenance: Chicago and the Food Chain. This new photography exhibition provides a unique view of the realities of child nutrition in Chicago and the ways that our agricultural and food policy decisions impact youth eating habits in schools and at home. Wednesday, January 14th 6:25 – 9:00 PM Reception 6:45 – 7:15 PM Community Conversation Sustenance: Chicago and the Food Chain is part of the 625 AT 6:25 series produced by ART WORKS Projects. Viewing hours are Saturdays 1:00 – 5:00 PM and by appointment during the week. Please contact us at to coordinate tours for students and interested organizations. On Saturday, February 28, we are pleased to host a workshop and lunch with child nutrition and agriculture …

Best of 2014: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Germany and Sweet Home Chicago

(NOTE: Much of my work from this year remains under embargo until publication including my recent work in Bosnia and Herzegovina with National Geographic Young Explorer Grantee Cara Eckholm.) In February, events in Ukraine rapidly spiraled out of control following the peaceful occupation of the central Maidan Niezalezhnosti or Independence Square in Kiev that had begun late in 2013. On the evening of February 18, 2014, the government of Viktor Yanukovych ordered snipers positioned around the square to fire on demonstrators. The gunfire continued intermittently, killing dozens for two days until it stopped. Then Yanukovych fled to Russia. Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea and sent troops into eastern regions of Ukraine. The government in Kiev has realigned itself with the West and the European Union. In early April, I traveled to Kiev to photograph those who had survived the sniper attacks from February 18-20, 2014 and to hear their stories. I hoped to bring their voice into a conversation about the conflict playing out in the international media and policy circles in Washington and …

Five Years Later: Reuniting With One of the First Gay Couples to Obtain A Marriage License in Iowa

In April 2009, I traveled from Chicago to Davenport, Iowa to cover the first day gay marriage licenses were issued in that state for The New York Times. In line at the Scott County Recorder’s office that day were these two, Curtis Harris and Daren Adkisson. The picture I took of them ran in the paper and subsequently in over 500 newspapers across America they told me yesterday. They also told me that as Daren was suffering from cancer at the time, the picture led to attention in their community which led to a cancer specialist who was not taking any more patients opening his doors to Daren. While they credit the picture with saving his life, I credit the doctors. These guys are pretty special. The rare Americans who turn down $10k to be on TV (a comedy show’s producers called three times wishing to do a spoof, the third time offering a cash incentive) and are just happy to be and live and love each other. Another benefit of the picture appearing was …

From the Archive: The United States of AmeriKitsch

* “Kitsch is the inability to admit that shit exists.” – Milan Kundera Kitsch has the potential to unite all people, irrespective of culture, background, or elitist pretensions. Objects we acquire or accumulate have no meaning until we provide it. The uses for kitsch are infinite. Milan Kundera notes that kitsch is not just the “inability to admit that shit exists,” but also it is the natural aesthetic of all politicians. Last fall in a video interview for Fortnight Journal, I suggested that kitsch might just outlive us all – even the politicians. Yet most moments of pure kitsch happen far away from electoral politics, geopolitics, and the global spotlight. Kitsch injects sentimental into the otherwise mundane. Bob Dylan said “even the President of the United States must have to stand naked,” yet how naked can you be when your person has become part of a larger cult of presidential kitsch? Does kitsch protect? As I prepare to leave the USA for a Fulbright grant to Azerbaijan, I thought it was time to look back …

Postcards from the USA! Images from the Last Week in the USA!

Last week, was a busy one. Rahm Emanuel was inaugurated mayor of Chicago and I graduated from Georgetown University’s Graduate School of Foreign Service. I drove 2,000 miles between here, there and several other places in between. From the corn fields in the plains of the Midwest, to the backyard patios of Brooklyn, to the gates of the highest office in the land. It all ends just before the rapture that was said to end the world but did not manage to. Some postcards from the last week:

From the Archive: Small Acts of Civil Disobedience Together Can Make a Big Noise

“Any government that treats its people as the property of the state cannot be tolerated.” – Adam Michnik at the New York Public Library in conversation, “Revolution: A User’s Manual” April 29, 2006 As demonstrations in both Tunisia, which successfully toppled the regime of Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali, and the ongoing siege on the streets of Egyptian cities where the government of (likely) outgoing dictator (sorry, Joe Biden) Hosni Mubarak have shown, small acts of civil disobedience together can make a big noise. From the archive, small acts of civil disobedience. Desmond Lane, 11, with his father, Darick Lane, 38, opponents of the death penalty, during a prayer vigil near the entrance to the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt, Va. hours before the 9 p.m. execution of John Allen Muhammad, the so-called “Washington sniper” responsible for gunning down 10 and wounding three in the D.C.-area in 2002, on November 10, 2009. Gov. Tim Kaine refused to grant a stay of clemency and the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the request for a stay of …