Wednesday, September 20 @ 5:00 – 6:15pm
Elvehjem L160
Online at Zoom:

Jon Lowenstein specializes in long-term, in-depth documentary explorations that confront the realms of power, poverty, and violence. Through the combination of filmmaking, photography, experiential writing and personal testimonials, he strives for unsparing clarity by revealing the subjects of history that lack voice. Lowenstein’s commitment to social justice through community engagement runs both deep and long.

He has spent the better part of the past two decades engaging his adopted community on Chicago’s South Side where he taught photography in the Chicago Public Schools, ran a community newspaper and is currently finishing South Side, a photographic monograph exploring his adopted community. This extensive and powerful body of work challenges accepted notions about community, poverty, segregation, and ultimately, what is the real space between hope and power. Told by the community with fewer filters, and still with an aesthetic that’s a unique personal collaboration between himself and his community, South Side is a true integrative expression of a uniquely American time and place. This participatory media project seeks to open new dialogic and physical spaces in which to engage both the immediate community and the global community at large.

Lowenstein is best known for his work documenting the migrant trail from Central America and Mexico to the United States. His photographic monograph Shadow Lives portrays the real stories of the men and women who make up the largest transnational migration in world history. This project, unique in its breadth and intimate scope forces the viewer to engage with the impact of America’s punitive immigration and economic policies on some of the United States’ most vulnerable populations. His TED talk on the subject has more than 2 million views and the work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine as well as many other outlets.

Lowenstein has been recognized widely for his work exploring migration, wealth inequality and community resilience the including being named a Guggenheim Fellow, National Geographic Explorer, a TED Senior Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow in Photography. He won the Dorothea Lange/Paul Taylor Prize. He is a Nikon European Ambassador and he is the founding member of the NOOR DOCUMENTARY FOUNDATION and owner of NOOR Images cooperative based in Amsterdam.

Lowenstein’s work can be seen at and