Cure Violence, Portrait of an Epidemic, 2009 – 2014
Conceived by video artist Lincoln Schatz, Cure Violence: Portrait of an Epidemic is a composite video portrait of more than fifty Chicagoans committed to ending gun violence.
Schatz created the work in conjunction with CeaseFire, an Illinois nonprofit dedicated to working with community and government partners to reduce violence. Working in the greater Chicago area, including the neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence, Schatz and his team filmed statements from the CeaseFire network of violence interrupters, outreach workers, and community members.
Schatz processed the footage through his custom software to create a non-editorialized composite portrait of the complex landscape of violence. Cure Violence: Portrait of an Epidemic is intended to increase awareness, incite social action, and provide a platform for discussion.
Additionally, Cure Violence met with and worked alongside organizations connected to CeaseFire’s offices. These groups, largely non-profits, work as auxiliary support in some capacity to Ceasefire. For example, Alexia and Gina are members of the Alliance of Local Service Organizations (ALSO) group on Teen Dating Violence. The group is a pilot project that brings awareness to violence in young adults’ intimate relationships. These groups, largely underfunded and overwhelmed by need, are doing some of the most vital work. Helping to guide a younger generation away from the difficulties that exist. Moreover, these organizations are essential to the main CeaseFire mission. Because without alternatives and opportunities and help, it’s difficult for many of the kids interviewed, to survive.
Cure Violence: Portrait of an Epidemic grew out of a chance meeting between Lincoln Schatz and CeaseFire Illinois Executive Director Dr. Gary Slutkin at Pop!Tech in Camden, ME.
Support for this project was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and CISCO IBSG.