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Shadow Lives

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by Jon Lowenstein

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Shadow Lives USA is a two decade-long project that humanizes, in a highly intimate fashion, the experiences and lives of the millions of men and women who leave their homes in search of a better life in the United States. Overwhelmingly, these men and women leave to escape the brutal social violence and grinding poverty that increasingly define the conditions of life for poor and working people from Central America to the United States.I have witnessed the increasingly difficult odds that undocumented immigrants face as they encounter social violence and dire poverty in their homelands. These dangers include increasing levels of social violence, a brutal smuggling trade that systematically exploits them, an increasingly punitive legislative environment in the United States and a far tougher global economy in which they compete. To show this reality I have documented social violence in Guatemala, deportation flights from the United States to Mexico and Guatemala, illegal border crossings to the United States, undocumented migrants who’ve been handicapped while working on the job, migrant deaths in the desert, and the increasing militarization of the US/Mexico border.

-Photographs by Jon Lowenstein
-Texts by Jon Lowenstein, Luis Alberto Urrea, Francisco Goldman and Everard Meade.
-Design by Jon Lowenstein
-308 Pages

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