The Burden of Memory: John Trotter and Donna DeCesare
“The camera relieves us of the burden of memory. It surveys us like god.”
Donna DeCesare, winner of the 1999 International Fund for Documentary Photography, has focused her work on and the effects of violence, gang culture, war, and trauma on youth. Her IFDP winning photo essay, titled: Shadow Dreams and New Youth Visions, explored the intersecting worlds of gangs in Los Angeles and El Salvador where young adults experience the some of the highest rates of homicide. Some of her other projects include, Sharing Secrets: Children’s Portraits Exposing Stigma, Crimes of War and Edgar’s Story.
As the Dart Media Curator and the Latin America Coordinator for the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, DeCesare recently produced a multimedia piece with photographer John Trotter about his personal experience with violence. While photographing for the Sacramento Bee, Trotter was attacked and suffered a severe brain injury that took months to recover from. As a way to process his trauma, Trotter took images of other patients at the rehab center, which DeCesare combined with her interview of Trotter speaking about his emotions. The effect: compassion into Trotters trauma and admiration for his exceptionally sad and haunting images.
Please click here to watch the video interview: http://dartcenter.org/gallery/burden-memory
The video was made by the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, John Trotter, Donna DeCesare and Joey Castillo. The Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a project of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is dedicated to informed, innovative and ethical news reporting on violence, conflict and tragedy. The John Trotter piece is part of Dart Media, a gallery of visual storytelling, highlighting exemplary work that advances the conversation about how to witness, interpret and represent violence and suffering.