Ten years ago, Julián Cardona, a photojournalist from Juárez, Mexico, began to document the devastating effects of globalization on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Since that time he has amassed thousands of photographs bearing witness to the harsh reality of border life, from the hundreds of unsolved murders of Mexican women in Juárez, to the social effects caused by low wages paid in border factories; from the exodus of Mexican immigrants fleeing their country and its collapsing economy, to the shanty-town communities living in slum conditions beside the wealthiest country in the world.
His photo documentation of the violence, poverty and social upheaval he witnesses tells a story that, 100 years from now, will still cause people to feel the wounds of an era.
Born in Zacatecas, Mexico, Cardona was a small child when his family moved to Juárez. He attended school there, received vocational training, and worked as a technician in a "maquiladora" (a foreign-owned factory), where he worked to earn money to buy his first camera.
A self-taught photographer, Cardona moved back to Zacatecas in 1991 to teach beginning photography at the Centro Cultural de Zacatecas. Two years later he started his photojournalism career at the publication’s El Fronterizo and El Diario de Juárez.
In 1995 Cardona organized a group show called "Nada que ver" (Nothing to See), which contained the work of photojournalists who document the daily violence, death and poverty that accompanies life in Juárez. Photographs of that show were featured in Harper’s Magazine in 1996.
In 1998 Cardona’s work appeared in the book JUáREZ: THE LABORATORY OF OUR FUTURE, which features essays by Charles Bowden, Noam Chomsky and Eduardo Galeano.
Cardona’s photographs of the interior of maquiladoras in Juárez were published in Aperture No. 159, "Camera of Dirt." His photographs have been featured in exhibits in Mexico, the United States and Europe.
Editor’s note: This biography is from www.lannan.org