Lerager, "Central America After the Wars"
of Central America was at war, prolonged and brutal
civil war, throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s.
fighting has ended, many of the
issues of poverty and inequality that generated those years of conflict
remain unresolved. In Nicaragua and El Salvador today, the poor are
poorer and the rich are richer than before the
wars began. Populations are overwhelmingly
young, and impoverished. The children, who should represent the future
for these countries, are those most profoundly at risk. Basic health
social services, and education are completely inadequate, as are opportunities
for gainful employment. In Nicaragua, the literacy
rate is falling as many children receive little
or no education.
by the tens of thousands
have turned to drugs, especially cheap and plentiful glue, which temporarily
provides sensations of euphoria and assuages their gnawing hunger for
food, while rapidly destroying the cells of their brains.
The photographs in
this exhibit were taken in Nicaragua and El Salvador in 1999 and 2000,
in conjunction with the Graduate School of Journalism's course in international
reporting, led by Carlos Chamorro and Lydia Chavez, and the
for larger images)
Lerager's photographs and stories have appeared in magazines and newspapers
in over twenty countries. He has exhibited his photography widely in the
United States and Europe, including at the MIT Museum; the Bernstein Gallery,
Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University; Duke University Art Museum;
University of California at Berkeley (three
solo exhibits: Anthropology Museum, Bancroft Library,
Graduate School of Public Policy); Camerawork
Gallery, San Francisco; the Hoover Institute, Stanford University;
the Washington (DC) Project For The Arts; the Center
For Contemporary Art,
Santa Fe; City Gallery of Contemporary Art, Raleigh, North Carolina;
Canon Image Gallery, Amsterdam; the Russian-American
Press Center, Moscow.
first book, In The Shadow Of The Cloud: Photographs and Histories
of America's Atomic Veterans, was published by Fulcrum Press. His forthcoming
book, Nuclear History: Nuclear Destiny, is planned for publication
in the spring of 2001. He is currently working on an extensive photo-documentary
project in Mexico.
James is available to work with researchers and graduate students in providing
a visual documentation to accompany projects on societal and environmental
issues, and he can be contacted through the Center for Latin American Studies,
or at JLerager@yahoo.com.