Donna DeCesare on Photographing Central America’s Long Cycle of Violence

March 26, 2014

By David Walker

© Donna DeCesare

Donna DeCesare won trust and access by building relationships with her subjects over months and years. This teenage couple, photographed in Los Angeles in 1993, keeps binoculars handy to make sure the streets are clear of police or enemy gang members before taking their baby for a walk. Click on the Photo Gallery link below to see more images.

Donna DeCesare says in her 2013 book, Unsettled/Desasiego, that she moved to El Salvador in late 1987 “to witness and report on war, with all the earnest idealism and naïveté of youth.” Ever since, she has been exploring causes, effects, and possible solutions to a troubling legacy of Central America’s civil wars: gangs and urban violence. DeCesare still believes in...

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