When the Spirit Moves: Urban Gun Violence
2012 professional winner
Justin Maxon has been awarded the 2012 Alexia Foundation Professional Grant. These are the portfolio images for which the grant was awarded. The images will be updated when Maxon submits his final project. His proposal will also be posted at that time.
Justin Maxon (1983) was born in a small town in the woods of northern California.
While attending journalism school at San Francisco State, he began exploring projects that held greater social implications. His desire was to reveal different variables of truth in humanities conflicted existence. Of recent though, his work shifted towards exploring more private issues; where his imagery became an abstract representation of his own life.
Maxon has received numerous awards for his photography, from competitions like World Press Photo, UNICEF Images of the Year, POYi, and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism. He won the Deeper Perspective Photographer of the Year at the 2008 Lucie Awards, the same year he was named one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch. He was selected to participate in World Press Photo’s 2010 Joop Swart Masterclass. In addition, he recently received the 2010 FotoVisura Photography Grant and the 2011 Cliff Edom “New America Award” from NPPA.
He has worked on feature assignments for publications that include TIME, Newsweek, Mother Jones Magazine, Fader Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, AARP Bulletin, and NPR.
A group of local residents pray in front of the home of a women who was shot by a stray bullet in the William Penn housing project. The group, lead by one of the out-raged family members of the victim, organized a daily walk around the project for seven straight days in protest of the violence. The William Penn is notorious for being one of the most violent projects in the city and prior to this incident, according to residents, over a half dozen people had been shot in the last few months. Justin Maxon
Family member carry the casket of Kathy Ann Stewart, after a funeral service in her name. Stewart was murdered by a stray bullet while laying in bed talking to her fiance. She lived in the William Penn housing projects, in Chester PA, which is notorious for being one of the most violent projects in the city. Prior to this incident, according to residents, over a half dozen people had been shot in the last few months. In a city where many of the murders go unsolved, the killing of Steward outraged the local community enough that people who had information came forward and the assailants were arrested. Justin Maxon
Chester is laden with over a half a dozen highly polluting faculties that line the Delaware river, which has led to high cancer and asthma rates in the community. Justin Maxon
Children sleep at a family friend's house after watching TV. The parents of the kids threw a party in their neighborhood and didn't want their children around for it so they sent them to a friend. Justin Maxon
Jasmine Rasheed-Bacon, 6, consoles her cousin, Breonna Starkey-Bacon, 6, after she went into a closet to cry because of a disturbance in the house. The two cousins are very close and rely on each other for support. The girls live in a dangerous neighborhood called the Sun Village in Chester, which is notorious for its drug trafficking and drug related crime. Justin Maxon
Tarimur Harris, 60, lies sleeping in his room at his brother’s house. Harris had been fighting intestinal cancer since he was diagnosed four years ago. He passed away four months after this image was taken. Chester is a haven for industry, with countless highly polluting facilities contributing to high cancer and asthma rates in the community. Justin Maxon
A young girl who goes by the name, "Kiki," 14, play fights with a boy she likes outside of her home in Chester Pa. Around a week prior, Kiki had alleged that she was rapped by a family friend which had spurred a debate in the family as to whether or not it as true. The girl lives with her mother and 13 other siblings. Domestic abuse is fairly common in the city, with the outcomes often ending violently. Justin Maxon
"Dee Dee", 24, center, feels sick due to her pregnancy and is consoled by her baby’s father. She successfully gave birth the next day to her fourth child. Dee Dee hasn't had a stable place to live with her children for over the last year. The majority of this time they stayed at her brother’s house on the couch and are now staying with the father a number of her children in his family’s home. Justin Maxon
Portrait of Daaiyah "Wya" Shaw, 20, in her home. She has aspirations of being a model. Justin Maxon
A young girl stands in the doorway of her uncle's house waiting for her mother to return from the corner store, while her cousin lies on the ground using a computer. The Bacon household was extremely full and because there was 12 people living in a small three bedroom home, a number of them had to sleep on the ground in the living and dinning room. Justin Maxon