Deported: An American Division



ART WORKS Projects is proud to announce photographer Rachel Woolf as the winner of the 2018 Emerging Lens Mentorship Program. Annually supporting the development of a young photographer’s work on a human rights or social justice issue of their choice, this year’s Emerging Lens program will culminate in the Summer 2018 Chicago opening of Woolf’s project Deported: An American Division.


Rachel Woolf’s project Deported: An American Division began in late July 2017 when she met Lourdes Salazar Bautista days before her deportation hearing in Detroit. Bautista had been living in Ann Arbor, Michigan for the past 20 years along with her children Pamela (19), Bryan (14), and Lourdes (16) who were all born in the United States. Though the family was hopeful that Bautista would be granted permission to stay in the U.S., it was determined at her hearing that she would be deported. Bautista, along with her two younger children, left for Mexico soon after the hearing in August 2017.


“Sometimes I can’t find the adequate words to explain to my kids that there’s no reason why they have to pay for their parents, being that they are citizens and they have the right to be in [the U.S.],” Bautista said. “They want to return to their schools with the lives they had in the U.S., since it is what they know.”


Through Woolf’s focus on Lourdes Salazar Bautista and her children, we can better understand the nuance of deportation and the impact it has on families and their communities. Woolf will return to Mexico in May 2018 to update her story on the Bautista family and provide an intimate glimpse into what life after deportation is like for families who are forcibly removed from the United States and sent to countries that are at once strange and familiar.


“Lourdes and her family welcomed me into their lives during an unimaginably difficult time. I documented the complexities of their story to humanize those affected by deportation and immigration practices. Countless families are in the same situation, experiencing this harsh reality,” said Woolf of her experience with the Bautista family.





Emerging Lens is ART WORKS Projects’ annual, juried photography competition for photographers age 18 to 27 whose work focuses on social justice and human rights. The program is currently in its fourth year. The 2018 competition was open to photographers based in the United States working on an issue affecting women and/or girls.


Supporting upcoming documentary photographers and filmmakers through mentoring and providing a platform for their work is an integral part of AWP’s mission. Through the Emerging Lens program, AWP hopes to encourage the rising generation of photojournalists to use the power of their lenses to address human rights and social justice issues.


Exhibition opening at University of Michigan
Weill Hall | 735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI
January 15, 2019 | 4 – 6pm EST
Exhibition on view until January 31, 2019


One Family’s Story: People, Policy, and the Politics of Deportation
Panel Discussion
Weill Hall | 735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI
January 21, 2019 | 11:30 – 1:20pm EST
Click here to see a video of the panel. 


Exhibition opening/ public panel at Stony Brook University
Melville Library | 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook, NY
September 26, 2018 | 1 – 2:30pm
Exhibition on view September 24 – October 26, 2018


Interfaith Immigrant Justice Vigil
Fourth Presbyterian Church | 126 E. Chestnut Street, Chicago
October 2, 2018 | 5:15 to 7:30pm


Exhibition opening of Deported: An American Division
AWP Studio Gallery | 625 N. Kingsbury Street, Chicago
August 2, 2018
Photographer Rachel Woolf will be in attendance to speak about her work.


Panel Discussion: “The State of Deportation”
AWP Studio Gallery | 625 N. Kingsbury Street, Chicago
August 23, 2018
Speakers: Royal Berg – Immigration Attorney; Oscar Chacón – Executive Director, Alianza Americas; Seemi Choudry – Director, Mayor’s Office of New Americans; Evelyn Venegas – Family Support Network Coordinator, ICIRR; Moderated by Oscar Cazalez



Many thanks to our generous Community Sponsors:


The Henry Nias Foundation


Friedman Law Group, Ltd.


To learn how to become a sponsor of the Emerging Lens Mentorship Program or Deported: An American Division, please contact Annalise Flynn-Taylor at



January 15 – 31, 2019
University of Michigan
500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109


September 24 – October 26, 2018
Stony Brook University Melville Library
100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook, NY 11794


August 2 – November 8, 2019
ART WORKS Projects Studio Gallery
625 N. Kingsbury Street, Chicago IL 60654





Rachel Woolf is a Denver-based independent visual journalist.


She specializes in documentary photography, videography and portraiture. Her work aims to intimately show aspects of humanity intersecting with economic and social issues.


She has been published in The New York Times, CNN, US News and World Report, Bloomberg, Education Week, Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News. She graduated from Ithaca College with a B.A. degree in Documentary Studies, attended the Eddie Adams Workshop XXVII in 2014 and the Missouri Photo Workshop in 2015.



National Immigrant Justice Center
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Fourth Presbyterian Church
City of Chicago: Office of New Americans
Latinos Progresando
Erie Neighborhood House