Since 2017, I have been working on a collaborative photography and book project, funded by the Center for Documentary Studies' Lewis Hine Fellowship -- made in partnership with Rutgers University students who have experienced foster care or homelessness. A quiet project circumscribing poverty, identity, immigration, addiction and trauma from the perspectives of youth who have made it to a four-year university, our work has taken us from living rooms of grandmothers and grandfathers to graveyards to foster care homes to rest stops. The project explores identity, family history and pre-conceived narratives of youth who have experience in the child welfare system. In the process of making images and portraits, collecting oral histories and tracking down family archives, the stories and photographs communicate both an extraordinary resilience and a distinct period of time in which youth and adulthood are intertwined. We recently completed an arts residency at The Sanctuary For Independent Media and Skidmore College in upstate New York. The project was exhibited at the Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick, NJ. (A complete selection of photographs of the work are forthcoming). We have received additional support from the School of Social Work to continue photographing and traveling around New Jersey.
The images above consist of portraits, collaborative images made with the students, archival images and samples from our in-progress photo book.
Below are images of us working on the project, planning an exhibit and going on a spring break arts residency.