All posts filed under: Publications

Burge Victims Speak Exhibit at Harold Washington Library Center

Chicago Public Library 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 …

Quartz: Russia’s meddling to get Donald Trump elected president is straight out of the old KGB playbook

Russia’s meddling to get Donald Trump elected president is straight out of the old KGB playbook Quartz December 19, 2016 Mysterious arrests. Disappearances. A far away death in an unknown gulag concealed from family for a generation. These are realities for those of us whose families came to the US from Eastern Europe in the aftermath of the last world war and subsequent Soviet occupation. These are also the reasons why every act against Donald Trump now is an act of patriotism on behalf of the American people. During the 1970s and 1980s, KGB defectors warned Americans to beware Russian interference. Those warnings were mostly buried. Today, however, Trump’s rise should be examined in the context of these methods of Kremlin ideological subversion and psychological warfare. The confluence of evidence suggests Donald Trump was supported, and his campaign efforts bolstered, by Russia this election season (as the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency have concluded). Plucked from the KGB’s (now FSB’s) playbook for installing world leaders sympathetic to Moscow, we are now witnessing …

Best of 2015: Chicago, Poland, Serbia and Germany

This was a year of terrorist attacks, mass shootings a-plenty, mass exodus from the Middle East, North and East Africa and the AfPak region which does not include India but a small number from Bangladesh, rising xenophobic far right sentiment, and an uptick in hostility towards Muslims unprecedented since immediately after the September 11, 2001 attacks. The far right so far has been kept on the back burner, but the slow slide into what I liken to the Brezhnev years of the Cold War for the Global War on Terror (GWoT) years is upon us. The American presidential elections offer little reason or occasion for hope. The state of affairs in Syria, too, offers little occasion for hope. “Assad must go” has converted into the new “red line,” as US Secretary of State John Kerry concedes Assad can stay because the US has no one else to pluck out of an abyss of alternatives. The whole world has heard of the Islamic State and the international media relishes any opportunity to put the group’s name …

Open Society Foundations Voices Blog: After a Long Haul, Refugees Settle Into New Lives Far from Home

Voices | Q + A After a Long Haul, Refugees Settle Into New Lives Far from Home October 16, 2015 Antonia Zafieri American photographer Amanda Rivkin has been photographing refugees as they transit from Syria to Europe. Recently, she posted several of these photos to the Open Society Instagram feed. Here, she talks about her experience documenting the refugees’ stories, and what she’s observed of their attempts to settle into new lives far from their original homes. Why did you pursue this story? I pursued the story of the recent exodus to Europe from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere for no reason other than it was there. I lived in Turkey for two years and never covered refugees as an issue per se, although refugees were everywhere in Istanbul at the time. Some were also my friends. If there was a crack between two buildings, it was as if you could find three Syrian families living there. But I think there is so much of this biblical, dramatic imagery that we forget that Syria—emptying out …

For Slovak daily Sme: Ani Nemecko nie je rajom. Utečenci zostávajú bez bytov aj práce

Ani Nemecko nie je rajom. Utečenci zostávajú bez bytov aj práce September 29, 2015 Utečenci veria, že sa im podarí zarobiť peniaze a dostať rodiny z nebezpečných zón do Európy. Sami majú neľahký život a neistú budúcnosť. Text: Amanda Rivkin Dvadsaťštyriročného Helmyho a jeho mladšieho, trinásťročného brata Jusúfa zaviedli do miestnosti v utečeneckej ubytovni, kde žije ich matka Inajat, žena v stredných rokoch. Ubytovňu na okraji Berlína prevádzkuje súkromná spoločnosť Gierso. Čipkované záclony vpúšťajú dnu trochu svetla. Zapácha to tam ako popolník. Izba je však nad dvorom, vďaka čomu je tu svetlo aj neskoro popoludní. Kerim Öge, ktorý pomáha pri spravovaní piatich zariadení Gierso pre utečencov v Berlíne, vysvetľuje, že najviac, čo môžu urobiť, je poslať písomné varovanie, ak je zápach naozaj zlý. Nemôžu nikoho vyhodiť, inak by sa až príliš veľa ľudí ocitlo na ulici. Öge Helmymu hovorí, že utečencom opakujú, aby vnútri nefajčili. Na dvore sú na asfalte nakreslené dva štvorce, fajčiarske miesta. „Všetko je ťažké, mám 50 rokov,“ hovorí Helmyho matka Inajat. Žila v obkľúčenom palestínskom utečeneckom tábore Jarmúk na okraji sýrskeho …

Cara Eckholm’s Series on Postwar Bosnia for National Geographic Voices with My Photos

Last October, I traveled to Bosnia with fellow National Geographic Young Explorer Cara Eckholm to report and photograph stories from postwar Bosnia. She now works for the consulting firm, ReD Associates, out of Copenhagen. Below are excerpts and photographs from the series we worked on and completed together. Exploring Sarajevo, 20 Years After Dayton Peace Accord May 29, 2015 From morning to midnight, in sun or snow, pensioners play chess with passion, swinging life-sized pieces across a board painted onto the pavement in the center of Sarajevo. I struck up a conversation with a crowd of bystanders, and learned that was not always so. Twenty years ago, this square was deserted, a victim of Bosnian-Serb mortars. Now, the chess players razz each other against a backdrop of multinational chains. But the past is never absent in Bosnia, and the storefronts face the once-majestic Austro-Hungarian officer club, still riddled with bullet holes two decades after the country’s ethnic war. Supported by a National Geographic Young Explorers Grant, I’ve been exploring Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital that was …