Photo Stories: African Women and Kids
Affected by AIDS Share their Lives


Jim Hubbard

Jim Hubbard is an acclaimed documentary photographer who, in 2007, was the recipient of the prestigious Lewis Hine Distinguished Service Award given by the National Child Labor Committee. He is a Fellow at the USC Annenberg School for Communications and a co-founder of the USC Institute for Photographic Empowerment, a joint project of Venice Arts and the USC Annenberg School for Communications and its Center for Communications Leadership and Center for Public Diplomacy. Jim has been nominated three times for the Pulitzer Prize and is the recipient of over 100 photography awards. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, featured in print and television media, and published in his book American Refugees, Forward by Jonathan Kozol, University of Minnesota Press (1991).

Jim began his career as a photojournalist in Detroit during the tumultuous 1960's with the 1967 Detroit riots one of the first major international stories he covered. Jim's photographs have been published in most of the world's major print publications and he has covered many of the world's major stories including the 1972 Munich Olympics and massacre, the 1979 Cambodian genocide by the Pol Pot regime, the death of 10,000 people during a cyclone near Calcutta, India, and the Wounded Knee siege in 1973. Jim also served with the White House Press Corps during his 16 year staff position with United Press International (UPI) and has photographed five U.S. presidents and numerous presidential campaigns including traveling with Bobby Kennedy shortly before his death in 1968.

After 25 years as a professional photojournalist, Hubbard founded Shooting Back in Washington, D.C. to empower disenfranchised youth with the ability to describe their world: with the camera they "shot back" as the experts of their lives rather than the subjects of a professional's work. The pioneering nature of Jim's methodology has been cited in a wide range of literature and academic journals on photography, visual sociology and contemporary art. Hubbard also authored four books including Shooting Back, Forward by Dr. Robert Coles, Chronicle Books (1991) and Shooting Back from the Reservation, Forward Dennis Banks, The New Press (1994). Shooting Back's photographs have been among the most widely viewed and publicized images in modern photographic history.

Jim holds both Master of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees. He is the father of four daughters.

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Power to the people!

Posted Tuesday, September 11, 2007 7:47PM

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photos by this person (click to view larger):

photos of this person (click to view larger):

New threads
Tomas Cumbana

Venice Arts mentors visit the neighborhood

Planning session
Lynn Warshafsky


blog entries by this person:

The great chasm

Jim Hubbard
Venice Arts

Posted 8:54AM on Wednesday, July 25, 2007 Pacific Time

In a few days I will join a team from Venice Arts, a Venice, CA youth arts organization, to embark on an exciting journey to Africa, our third since 2001, that also causes me some personal conflict. This time the long flight will put  us in Maputo, Mozambique where the chasm between our world in the U.S and the African reality is as wide as the distance our aircraft will traverse. Maputo is a beautiful city situated along the Indian Ocean with wonderful and warm people and from what I hear astonishing sea food. Unfortunately it is a poor country with severe shortages, low life expectancy and nearly a half million children orphaned by AIDS.

The differences between the two worlds, at least priorities, may best be described by a call that I just received from a reporter at a Santa Monica, CA daily paper advising me that the story they were planning to do on our upcoming work with children orphaned by AIDS in Mozambique would have to be put on hold for a couple days as they needed the space for a breaking news story: Lindsay Lohan had just been arrested for drug possession and drunk driving in front of the Santa Monica, CA police station. Don't think for a minute that the priorities of this small Santa Monica daily newspaper are unique. They share the same view of what is an important story with the majority of print and electronic media. This encapsulates my personal conflicts about wanting to help the "least among us," while being a member of one of the richest and most warped cultures on earth.

The intention of the trip is to teach children orphaned by AIDS how to use cameras to document their world so that others can see what their lives are like. In some ways we serve as "bellringers" through photographs and words to inform the privileged that cruel and harsh conditions exist for hundreds of millions of human beings. Our group of about ten energetic and caring people are motivated by a variety of reasons ranging from "faith based" beliefs to humanist beliefs. Regardless, I  am certain the group of kids that we meet will be filled with joy, as will we, when we first meet and and begin to work together.   As the kids gain proficiency with the cameras, they will  create a visual story that will depict children living in some of the cruelest conditions and circumstances in human history. While it is true that the nature of our effort does not ameliorate the wretched conditions they constantly endure, our ability to produce exhibits for the public, publish books of their photographs and stories, and sometimes interest media outlets in the continuance of public awareness that may, perhaps, mobilize more people to help the poor and suffering. Bottom line is that we value the possibility of a paradigm shift—of seeing more interest in the suffering of the world rather than the endless fascination with Hollywood stars and other escapist trivia.


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Disclosing my HIV status was the biggest difficulty of my life. My mother has lost so many people to the virus and always said that she didn't want any of her children to have this disease.
Nwabisa Ndlokovane
Cape Town project participant

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