By Cody McCloy, CNN
(CNN) - After graduating from photography school in New York, Ester Jove Soligue began to collaborate with the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization that includes people of various faiths who are committed to social justice.
As part of its Immigrant Rights Program, the AFSC was collecting testimonies from children with family members who had been deported as illegal immigrants. Their stories were presented to Congress in June 2010.
Through her relationship with the AFSC, Soligue met 16-year-old Jocelyn. The girl’s mother, Maria, was deported three years ago after a fight with a neighbor, leaving Jocelyn and her father, Miguel, to take care of her sister and four brothers.
Jocelyn and her siblings were all born in the United States, making them legal U.S. citizens. Impressed by Jocelyn’s strength, Soligue turned her camera toward the family to capture their plight.
Editor’s note: After being hit hard by Hurricane Katrina and again by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, coastal communities in Louisiana are dealing with massive erosion. Photographer Kael Alford spent five years exploring the issue and reconnecting with a portion of her heritage.
By Cody McCloy, CNN
(CNN) – Given an assignment to document the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Louisiana coastline, photographer Kael Alford turned it into a five-year endeavor to reconnect with a portion of her heritage.
With the assistance of a commission from the High Museum in Atlanta, Alford explored the birthplace of her maternal grandmother that is still home of the Native American families from which Alford descended.
Hit hard by Katrina and again by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the marshlands of Louisiana are in trouble. The coastline is eroding, threatening the ecosystem as well as a way of life.
Through her work, Alford strives to show the human side of the problem. Bill Boling, the publisher of her upcoming book from the project, “Bottom of 'da Boot,” says Alford has “this unflinching eye that is also a loving eye and able to see the beauty and dignity of the people that are facing these challenges.”