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Lens in Focus at UIC: Interview with Jabari Zuberi

Last year our nation looked on horrified and seemingly helpless as we saw images of the beating of Chicago teen Derrion Albert in front of his school. This case was a single story in a great series of cases where violence is claiming the lives of youth in the south and west sides of Chicago and beyond. While it may seem like a large topic to tackle, Chicago photographer Jabari Zuberi decided to use his camera as a tool to keep these tragedies, their effects and the need for change at the forefront of our minds through gripping and stunning images.

Jabari Zuberi during installation at University of Illinois at Chicago, December 1, 2010 “Rose Land”, a solo exhibition, combines image and audio to deliver an experience that is compelling, beautiful and tragic for the viewer. The series follows the efforts of the Roseland office of Ceasefire, a group who organizes rallies, supports families, and offers solutions and awareness to those in its immediate community about violence. While following the efforts of this organization, “Rose Land” also tells the intimate stories of those living lives that have been forever affected by the untamed violence that affects their community. This story is one of hope and despair that is a reflection of a problem that is mirrored throughout the United States, and it is told through the voices and opinions of the people who live through it every day.

Just before his show opened at University of Illinois at Chicago’s African American Cultural Center, Jabari Zuberi sat down with us to tell us more about how he started this series, where it’s been and where it’s headed in the future.

Lens in Focus at UIC: Interview with Jabari Zuberi from Tempestt Hazel on Vimeo.

Lens in Focus at UIC: Interview with Jabari Zuberi from Tempestt Hazel on Vimeo. Music by Tall Black Guy Productions.

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