Photojournalist Julián Cardona has donated his collection of over 17,000 images to the Institute of Arts & Media. Cardona’s work is internationally recognized, documenting transnational economic violence in Mexico, the resulting exodus of Mexican communities, and the emergence of the new Americans in the United States.
Born in 1960 in Zacatecas, Mexico, Julián Cardona migrated to the border city, Ciudad Juárez, with his family as a small child. He attended school in Juárez, received vocational training, and worked as a technician in the maquiladora industry. In 1991, Cardona returned to Zacatecas to teach basic photography at the Centro Cultural de Zacatecas. Two years later, he began his photojournalism career at El Fronterizo and El Diario de Juárez. In 1995, Cardona organized the group exhibition, “Nada que ver/ Nothing to See,” featured in Charles Bowden's article, “While You Were Sleeping: In Juárez, Mexico, photographers expose the violent realities of free trade,” (Harper’s Magazine, December 1996). Photographs from this exhibition inspired the award-winning book, Juárez: The Laboratory of Our Future (Aperture, 1998). Cardona’s photographs taken inside maquiladoras (foreign-owned factories) in Juárez were featured in Bowden's, Camera of Dirt: Juárez Photographer Takes Forbidden Images in Foreign-Owned Factories (Aperture, 159, Spring 2000).
Recently published titles include No One is Illegal, with texts by Justin Akers Chacón and Mike Davis (2006). Additional collaborations with Bowden include, Exodus/Éxodo (2008), documenting the historic migration of Mexicans to the United States and Murder City (2010), a photographic essay on Ciudad Juárez, the world’s most violent city. Images of Exodus are included in the touring exhibition, "The History of the Future/ La historia del futuro" (Berman, Cardona, Santa Fe Art Institute, 2008). This exhibition was featured in the 2011 edition of Promenades Photographiques, a photo festival held annually at Vendôme, France. Since 2009, Julián Cardona has been a Reuters correspondent in Ciudad Juárez.