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Violent Realities
A first-run exhibit on gun violence featuring the provocative work of award-winning photographers Jon Lowenstein and Carlos Javier Ortiz. Violent Realities contrasts the work of Lowenstein, who has documented graphic, real-life violence in Guatemala, and Ortiz, who has captured the aftermath of gun violence in urban areas of America, most notably on the streets of Chicago. (continued on next slide)
Photo by Jon Lowenstein
Photo by Jon Lowenstein
Violent Realities
“What we’re trying to do is raise awareness about the issue of gun violence, and how it is affecting our children, our neighborhoods and our society,” said Ortiz, who is the 2009 winner of the domestic photography award from the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights for his Too Young to Die project and also was the Illinois Press Photographer Association’s 2008 photographer of the year.  (continued on next slide)
Photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz
Photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz
Violent Realities
“What I hope the work shows is how crazy violence gets and the reality of what it’s like to experience crime scenes up close,” said Lowenstein, whose photographs capture the horrific violence and street crime affecting normal, everyday people living in Guatemala City. The images are to be part of a larger book project that Lowenstein is currently working on about immigration in America. 
Photo by Jon Lowenstein
Photo by Jon Lowenstein
Violent Realities
Photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz
Photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz
Violent Realities
Photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz
Photo by Carlos Javier Ortiz

Violent Realities

September 17, 2009–January 15, 2010

About the photographers 

Jon Lowenstein specializes in long-term, in-depth documentary photography that questions the status quo and who views himself primarily as a visual witness and historian, also has won many awards, including being named a 2008 Alicia Patterson Fellow, the 2007 Getty Award for Editorial Images and a 2007 World Press Photo Award. In 2011, Jon got awarded a John Simon Memorial Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in the field of Photography.

Carlos Javier Ortiz won the 2009 Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights: Domestic Photography award for “Too Young To Die.” He has also been a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography and the Alexia Foundation professional grant. He was named the 2008 Illinois Press Photographer Association Photographer of the Year and has also won the Peter Lisagor Award for Photojournalism. In 2010 Carlos Javier was selected to be part of Facing Change: Documenting America (FCDA), a non-profit collective of acclaimed photographers and writers that will cover under-reported aspects of America’s most urgent issues and distribute the work through innovative online platforms.


Press about the Exhibition:

  • Chicago TribuneViolent Realities at Roosevelt University's Gage Gallery not for "sensitive viewers"
  • CAN-TVThe artists in this exhibition focus on the victims of violence to raise awareness about how it affects the children, families, neighborhoods and communities in Guatamala and The United States.


Exhibit curated by Michael Ensdorf.

Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, Mansfield Institute for Social Justice and Transformation, Joseph Loundy Human Rights Project and the Department of Communication.