Donna De Cesare is an author, documentary photographer and educator known for her groundbreaking coverage of the spread of US gangs in Central America. Her photographs and testimonies from children in Guatemala and Colombia who are former child soldiers, survivors of abuse or the stigma of HIV have assisted UNICEF in developing protocols for photographing children at risk. Donna De Cesare, is an Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, a consultant to the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma at Columbia University and a Master Teacher with the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for Latin American Journalism.
Ms. De Cesare is a 2013 Recipient of the prestigious Maria Moors Cabot Award for outstanding reporting in Latin America and the Caribbean. The oldest award given for foreign correspondence, it is, like the Pulitzer, a major career recognition bestowed by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Ms. De Cesare’s other honors include top awards from Pictures of the Year International, the National Press Photographers Association, the Dorothea Lange / Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the Mother Jones Award for Social Documentary Photography, several Open Society Foundations grants and fellowships as well as a Fulbright Fellowship.
Her photography has been exhibited internationally in venues such as Visa pour l’Image in Perpignan, France; Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City; the Guangdong Museum of Art in Guangzhou, China; the Museo Tecleño in El Salvador; the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim, Germany; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York among others.
A selection of Ms. DeCesare’s work was included in the exhibition project Gangcity in Venice, Italy as a curated collateral event of 15th Venice Biennale in Architecture from May 26, 2016-November 27, 2016. She is currently completing a project about environmental issues in Latin America.
Her book Unsettled / Desasosiego: Children in a World of Gangs is both a memoir and a visual history of her experiences in Central America and Los Angeles. It has been favorably reviewed in publications including: AfterImage, the New York Times, The New Yorker, Mother Jones, PRI’s The World, and numerous NPR programs, including Latino USA with Maria Hinojosa.