Carlos Javier

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Carlos Javier Ortiz 
(born in San Juan, Puerto Rico)
Carlos Javier is a director, cinematographer, and documentary photographer who focuses on urban life, gun violence, racism, poverty, and marginalized communities. In 2016, Carlos received a Guggenheim Fellowship for film/video. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in a variety of venues including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; the Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts; the International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, NY; the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago; the Detroit Institute of Arts; and the Library of Congress. 
In addition, his photos were used to illustrate Ta-Nehisi Coates’ The Case for Reparations (2014) article, which was the best-selling issue in the history of the Atlantic Magazine. His photos have also been published in The New Yorker, and Mother Jones, among many others. He is represented by the Karen Jenkins-Johnson Gallery in San Francisco and Les Douches Gallery in Paris.
His film We All We Got uses images and sounds to convey a community’s deep sense of loss and resilience in the face of gun violence. We All We Got has been screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, Los Angeles International Film Festival, St. Louis International Film Festival, CURRENTS Santa Fe International New Media Festival, and the Athens International Film + Video Festival.
Carlos’ current project is a series of short films chronicling the contemporary stories of Black Americans who came to the North during the Great Migration. Beginning with his mother-in-law’s story, Carlos is exploring the legacy of the Great Migration a century after it began. For Carlos, who moved back and forth between Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland as a child, the story of displaced people in search of stability and economic opportunity resonates with his own.
Carlos’ work has been supported by many organizations including the University of Chicago Black Metropolis Research Consortium Short-term Fellowship (2015); the Economic Hardship Reporting Project (2015); the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting (2013); the California Endowment National Health Journalism Fellowship (2012); the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation (2011); Open Society Institute Audience Engagement Grant (2011); and the Illinois Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award (2011). 
In addition to his photography and film, Carlos Javier has taught at Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley. 



2016 Guggenheim Fellow in Film-Video, United States

2016 American Film Institute Best Cinematography, shorts category

2016 Crested Butte Film Festival We All We Got Best Documentary short

2015 Economic Hardship Reporting Project, United States

2015 BMRC Fellow The University of Chicago, United States

2013 Pulitzer Center Grant , United States

2013 Artist Fellowship Illinois Arts Council , United States

2012 The California Endowment Fellowship, United States

2011 Open Society Foundation Audience Engagement Grant, United States

2011 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Arts & Culture, United States

2011 The Chicago Community Arts Assistance Grant, United States

2009 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award , United States


2016 “We All We Got” Tribeca Film Festival New York, NY

2016 Screening "We All We Got" Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame

2016 “We All We Got” Athens International Film + Video Festival, Athens, OH

2015 “We All We Got” LA International Film Fest, Los Angeles, CA

2015 “We All We Got” The Santa Fe International New Media Festival ,Santa FeNM

2015 “We All We Got” St. Louis International Film Festival, St. Louis MO


2014 “We All We Got” Red Hook Editions

2012 War is Only Half the Story, Volume V: Too Young to Die After Math Project


2015 Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY

2014 Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts Worcester, MA

2014 Permanent Collection Open Society Foundation, New York, NY

2013 International Museum of Photography Rochester, NY

2008 Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

2008 Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL

2004 Detroit Institute of Arts Detroit, MI


2015 Carlos Javier Ortiz “A Thousand Midnights ” Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts

2015 Carlos Javier Ortiz “We All We Got” Bronx Documentary Center

2014 Carlos Javier Ortiz “We All We Got” David Weinberg Gallery, Chicago, IL

2012 Carlos Javier Ortiz “The Migrant Workers” Leica Gallery , Cologne, Germany


2015 Residual Lives, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL

2014 Guns Without Borders Worcester Art Museum , Worcester, MA

2013 Fields/Contre-Champs, Group Exhibition GwinZegal, France

2009 Violent Realities, Gun Violence in the Americas Gage Gallery, Chicago, IL


2015 Rayko Artist in Residence, San Francisco, CA

2014 Latitude Chicago Artist in Residence Chicago, IL

2014 Yale University Urban Ethnography Conference New Haven, CT

2012 The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

2012 University of Chicago Chicago, IL

2012 Chicago Ideas Week Chicago, IL

2011 Columbia University Dart Center, Philadelphia , PA


2015 New Yorker Magazine “A Thousand Midnights”: Chicago and the Legacy of the Great Migration

2015 Time Magazine “Families Affected by Gun Violence”

2015 American Photo “ Interview: Carlos Javier Ortiz on We All We Got ”

2015 The Week “ Shining a light on youth violence ”

2015 Slate “ A Look at How Youth Violence Affects Communities in Philadelphia and Chicago ”

2014 The Atlantic “The Case for Reparations”

2013 PHOTO DISTRICT NEWS “Too Young to Die,” by David Walker

2013 CBS Evening News “Photographer Looks at Chicago gun violence ”

2013 NPR “Surviving Tragedy: ‘It Brought Us Closer’”


2015 UC Berkeley Extension Department of Art and Design Adjunct Lecturer

2010-13 Columbia College of Chicago Guest Lecturer Photography


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