All posts tagged: portraits

Columbia Journalism Review: A photojournalist tells the stories of Chicago police torture victims

Jackie Spinner, a professor at Columbia College who has invited me to speak to her international reporting classes several times and ex-Washington Post correspondent in Baghdad and elsewhere, wrote the first little bit of press about my current oral history and portrait project on victims of Chicago municipal police torture under former Commander Jon Burge. Burge was on active duty with the Chicago Police Department from 1973-1991 and subsequently fired in 1993 after an array of crimes involving the abuse of suspects in custody were exposed on his watch, including but not limited to beatings, burning and electro-torture. Graciously, Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) has ran a couple of the press photographs including one of Marvin Reeves, a man so gentle he was like an uncle when we spoke for nearly two hours in his sister’s Bronzeville apartment. He received a multi-million dollar settlement from the city of Chicago for the injustices done to him. From Jackie’s article: Now Rivkin, who grew up in the city, plans to spend the next year photographing these men and …

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

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 …

New Work: Maidan Heroes

“I first came here when students were on strike in favor of the association agreement with the European Union. I was here the night students were beaten but I left at midnight to sleep, but when I heard they were beaten I had a new reason to protest on the Maidan. Two days later, City Hall was occupied and I worked in the kitchen and then I moved up to working with the commanders. Then when it started on Hrushevsky Street in January, I was bringing tea and cookies to the demonstrators. Then when the Ukraine House was occupied, I started working in the press center. Of course Yanukovych is responsible for this. I don’t know who else is responsible, but I know Yanukovych has already been punished. I want honest authorities. Right now we can see changes of faces, but I want new faces. People are awake now but of course there is still ignorance and people who are not supporting Maidan. I want awareness.” -Yulia, 18 From February 18-20, 2014, the Maidan Square …

Look3 Festival of the Photograph: Masterclass Street Smart with Bruce Gilden

For the past week, I have been fortunate to take Bruce Gilden’s Look3 Masterclass Workshop Street Smart and attend the Look3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia. Leica and Canon provided generous support for the tuition-free workshop. In addition to their support, I was lucky to have been invited here by National Geographic Society’s Expeditions Council. They were also nice enough to take a few of us Young Explorers Grant recipients out to dinner along with National Geographic Magazine photographer Carsten Peter who spoke about some of his assignments that involved chasing and being jolted by lightning as well as his favorite vulcanoes. Thank you to everyone who supported my trip to Look3 this year! Here is my favorite image from the workshop which I produced for our street photography portrait assignments that will be projected in the pavilion at the start of tonight’s slide presentations at 9pm at the end of the downtown mall in Charlottesville.

Portraits of David Protess for The New York Times

Last week on June 15, 2011, I photographed David Protess in the new offices of the Chicago Innocence Project, the non-profit he recently started, in downtown Chicago. A small image crop appeared on the front page of The New York Times on Saturday June 18, 2011 in a story entitled, “A Watchdog Professor, Now Defending Himself” by David Carr and John Schwarz. The jump page, A11 and the nytimes.com website both contained a second portrait. Here are three from the very brief shoot in the middle of last week: (Clockwise from top left) David Protess at top left in the entry way, at top right at his new desk with a courtroom sketch of the “Ford Heights Four” above the desk, and below in the back hallway beside a fire escape at the new offices of the Chicago Innocence Project, the non-profit Protess recently started in his first post-Northwestern University venture, in downtown Chicago on June 15, 2011.