Culture & Communication
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 24, 6-9PM
On View: Saturday, January 24 – Sunday, March 22, 2015
We All We Got by Carlos Javier Ortiz explores the consequences and devastation of youth violence in contemporary America between 2006 and 2013. Through a mix of powerful photographs, incisive essays and moving letters from diverse individuals affected by this scourge, Ortiz’s timely body of work brings home the true cost our country’s epidemic of gun violence.
Carlos Javier Ortiz’s work provides an avenue for knowing the children and their families whose lives are shattered by bullets. We All We Got is not the end of the conversation about youth violence and society’s complicity, but rather the beginning. The terror in the eyes of grieving children and inconsolable mothers allows the viewer to begin understanding the toll of this violence on the children who live within it.
The stories in this exhibition take place in Chicago and Philadelphia. By repeatedly returning to the same neighborhoods over the course of eight years, Ortiz shows the plight of the communities with which he has built a deep connection. The viewer sees abandoned buildings, victims’ memorials, segregation, graffiti, juvenile incarceration and other constant reminders of the outcomes of violence on young people and their communities.
Yet, through all the heartbreak, in Chicago, Philadelphia, the Bronx and elsewhere, one also sees the resilience of the individuals left behind. And where there is terror, there is also a glimpse of the innocence that remains, and a tiny glimmer of hope.
Carlos Javier Ortiz works with photography, film, and text. As a visual artist, he specializes in long-term documentaries that focus on urban life, gun violence, race, poverty and marginalized communities. Ortiz collaborates with his subjects by asking them to share their personal narratives and testimonials. His work confronts human suffering while simultaneously illuminating compassion and optimism.
1. © Carlos Javier Ortiz. Chicago’s lakefront is a frequent hang-out for youth during the summer months, but many young people have never been outside of their neighborhoods, let alone to the beaches along the lake. Near South Side, Chicago, 2006 2. © Carlos Javier Ortiz. Albert Vaughn was the neighborhood guardian, the older teenager who would play ball with the younger kids and try to keep them safe from trouble. About 50 of his friends and family members gathered to remember “Lil Al” on the block where he was killed. Englewood, Chicago, 2008
3. © Carlos Javier Ortiz. Girls in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side attend a block party to celebrate the lives of Starkeisha Reed, 14 and Siretha White, 10. Starkeisha and Siretha were killed days apart in March 2006. The girls’ mothers were friends, and both grew up on Honore Street, where the celebration took place. Englewood, Chicago, 2008
We All We Got
Published by: Red Hood Editions
Author: Carlos Javier Ortiz
Contributors: Forward by: Alex Kotlowitz, Essays by Tonya Burch, Maria Ramirez, Coree Parks, Frederick Dennis, Elijah Anderson Ph.D., Luke Anderson
Cover Price: $50.00 USD
The book will be for sale at the BDC. To buy it online, click here.
ABOUT THE BRONX DOCUMENTARY CENTER
Founded in 2011, the Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) is a non-profit gallery and educational space devoted to documentary projects from around the globe. Located on the ground floor of a recently revitalized building in the South Bronx, the BDC aims to create an engaging environment for local and international photojournalists, artists, filmmakers, critics and educators committed to innovative methods of non-fiction storytelling.
Bronx Documentary Center, 614 Courtlandt Avenue, Bronx, NY 10451 | email@example.com | 718 993 3512
Subway: 2/5 train to 3rd Ave-149th Street. BDC is located three blocks from the station. Bus: BX2, BX6, BX13, BX32, BX41.
Car: Parking lot available adjacent to building.
The Bronx Documentary Center is open to the public Thursday to Friday, 3 pm to 7 pm and Saturday to Sunday 1pm to 5pm. School groups are welcome by appt.