WWS Calendar

Jon Lowenstein

South Side of Chicago: Photography by Jon Lowenstein

Nov 1, 2014 (All day) to Dec 4, 2014 (All day)
Robertson Hall
Bernstein Gallery
Bernstein Gallery


Open to the Public
Jon Lowenstein specializes in documentary photography that explores the consequences of power, poverty and violence over time. In this exhibition, “South Side” examines the legacy of segregation, the impact of vast wealth inequality, and how de-industrialization and globalization play out on the ground in this section of Chicago. Through a combination of photography, experiential writing, personal testimonies and short experimental films, Lowenstein strives for unsparing clarity in revealing what life looks like today for the residents of Chicago’s South Side. 
Lowenstein has spent the last decade engaging with his adopted community by bearing witness to how people in underserved neighborhoods struggle to experience life’s joys and sorrows, when that life is fraught with significant poverty and a consistent lack of personal security. Such images – a block party, a prom dress, a funeral, an abandoned building soon to be demolished – are hauntingly elegiac. Lowenstein captures the interplay of innocence, hope, and beauty amid great economic deprivation and social isolation. 
Lowenstein, the son of a holocaust survivor who escaped Germany on the Kinder Transport, has spent the past decade recording the largest trans-national migration in U.S. history from Central America and Mexico to the United States and back. He has covered world shaping events that include elections in Afghanistan, the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the recent civil unrest over Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo. He is a member and owner of NOOR Images, based in Amsterdam. He has received many awards, grants, and fellowships from, among others, the Open Society Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism, the National Press Photographers Association, World Press Photo, Getty Images and POYi. He is a Hasselblad Master and a 2014 TED Senior Fellow. This year, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University awarded him the twenty-second Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize. His work has been seen in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Photo District News, The Daily Beast, Audubon Magazine, Verve, Scientific American, NBC News and Orion.