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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pulitzer Prize winner shares photos from border

    Immigration into the U.S. is characterized by “”real people with real needs,”” a message that one Pulitzer Prize winner hopes to spread through his photography.

    Don Bartletti, 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner for feature photography and a photojournalist with the Los Angeles Times, said yesterday in Gallagher Theater that his images of migrants traveling from Central America to the United States can teach people about the difficult journey.

    He showed depictions of migrants riding on top of railcars for the long journey to the United States to illustrate his point.

    One photograph had the image of a young man clinging to the ladder on the back end of a railcar, his head back and mouth open. Bartletti said the man was praying that he would not be sent back for the third time “”on the bus of tears.””

    Another photograph depicted two hands meeting, one holding a fruit and one grasping for it, and Bartletti said women in Veracruz, Mexico, throw food onto the open railcars as they speed past so the migrants will have something to eat.

    Luke Chrisco, a traveler originally from Grand Junction, Colo., who attended the event, said he wanted to cry the first time he saw that photo.

    “”I identified with the poverty and struggle,”” Chrisco said.

    The signature photo, “”Bound to El Norte,”” from the photographic series of the same name, featured an anonymous teenage boy looking toward his uncertain future as the train cars disappear into morning fog, eventually enveloping him as well, Bartletti said.

    Bartletti said the people who view the photographs should learn about migrants, such as what it was like to ride the trains. The trip is not as simple as some may think, he said.

    The photos are part of an exhibit on display now in the Student Union Memorial Center Union Gallery titled “”Part of this World: the immigration debate one face at a time.””

    At a reception following Bartletti’s talk, President Robert Shelton said the images are significant.

    “”We are a nation of immigrants,”” Shelton said. “”These photos offer a quiet moment for reflection and introspection.””

    The photos challenge the observer to stop and think about the human dimensions of this often political issue, Shelton said.

    “”What you’d like is for all people to see these and be drawn into the photos and think about what it means instead of immediately yelling at each other,”” Shelton said.

    Teri Hayt, managing editor for the Arizona Daily Star, said great journalists do not back away from a story.

    Bartletti’s work is some of the “”greatest storytelling of all time,”” Hayt said.

    Bennie Martinez, a Tucson resident, said Bartletti’s photos indicate a good sense of controlling time and space.

    “”You’re able to get involved with the subjects he was photographing,”” Martinez said.

    The exhibit in the Union Gallery was put together by Olga Briseño, director of the College of Humanities’ Media, Democracy and Policy Initiative.

    The exhibit also includes a series by local artists and a film by media arts students Roberto Gudiño and Eli Cordova called “”Just Coffee.””

    Gudiño, a senior, said he learned a lot about life in Mexico, and even though he is Hispanic, he called the experience “”a huge culture shock.””

    People who come to the U.S., like those shown in Bartletti’s photos, come to take care of their families, Gudiño said.

    “”They don’t come to America because they want to,”” Gudiño said. “”They come to America because they have to.””

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