DONNA DE CESARE
Donna De Cesare's photo documentary FROM CIVIL WAR TO GANG WAR tells the story of displaced children of El Salvador's civil war now growing up as urban gang warriors in Los Angeles and San Salvador. These photographic images and narration trace the 1980s flight of peasants, from El Salvador's war-torn villages to US gang and drug-ridden slums. It is also a journey into the next millennium. The '90s mean streets of Los Angeles and the barrios of San Salvador look increasingly and disturbingly similar. Ms. De Cesare's images and real life stories of today's children of war attest to the devastating social costs of neglecting youth. Her images offer a haunting account of the lasting effects of trauma.
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Ms. De Cesare's most recent project, THE LIGHT OF FRAGILE HOPE tells survival stories of street children and adolescents. By documenting innovative social programs in the U.S., Haiti, Belize, El Salvador and other countries in the Americas, she aims to increase public awareness and support for programs preventing teen gang violence and fostering youth leadership.
Ms. De Cesare's is an award-winning photographer, writer and videographer. Her work has appeared in news and arts publications including: Aperture, DoubleTake, Life, The New York Times magazine, Der Spiegel, Newsweek, The Atlantic, Harper's, The Village Voice, and others. Ms. De Cesare's photographs have been exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions in the United States and Latin America. Her awards include the 1993 Dorothea Lange prize, a 1996 New York Foundation for the Arts Photography Fellowship, and video journalist credit on the 1996 Emmy Award winning TV documentary, KILLER VIRUS. The Alicia Patterson Foundation named her the 1997 Josephine Patterson Albright Journalism Fellow in Photography. In 1999 she was awarded a Mother Jones Photo Fund grant. Her photo essay "Deporting America’s Gang Culture" in the July/August 1999 issue of Mother Jones magazine won the 2000 Pass award from the National Center on Crime and Delinquency and a 2000 Alfred Eisenstaedt Award. De Cesare has lectured widely on youth identity and gang violence, has taught photography to at-risk youth at The Latin American Youth Center in Washington D.C., and has worked as a consultant to The Pan American Health Organization, UNICEF, the National Association of Social Workers, and Save the Children.
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