Cloth $32.50 ISBN: 9781930066168 Published April 2004

Between Cultures

Children of Immigrants in America

Gina J. Grillo

Between Cultures
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Gina J. Grillo

Distributed for Columbia College Chicago Press

136 pages | 6 color plates, 61 duotones | 9-1/2 x 8 | © 2004
Cloth $32.50 ISBN: 9781930066168 Published April 2004
As the grandchild of Italian immigrants, photographer Gina J. Grillo has a personal impetus in her photographic studies of ethnic and immigrant life in the United States. In Between Cultures, Grillo explores the struggles immigrant children face as they develop their cultural identity in an environment completely new and foreign to them.

Following the tradition of the pioneering photographers Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine, Grillo portrays the immigrant experience through children's eyes, unearthing a complex and poignant world. She begins with images of newly arrived immigrant families at O'Hare International Airport during their first few hours in the United States, and then follows them through the gates and into Chicago's urban life: through her chronicle of citizenship ceremonies, cultural celebrations, weddings and dances, and other everyday scenes of immigrant life, Grillo captures the crucial elements that shape not only the characters of the children, but also the neighborhoods in which they reside.

For adults, emigration to America is filled with both hope and fear, yet it is tempered by a mature understanding. For children, however, this same journey unfolds in the unrelenting present as they must constantly negotiate their individual identities and allegiances to culture, country, and kin. With moving quotations and drawings by immigrant children woven into Grillo's visual sequence, Between Cultures is a unique meditation on the development of individual identity through the reconciliation of multiple cultural heritages.
Chicago Tribune
"Gina J. Grillo's book captures the devotion that immigrant children feel toward their native lands as well as their new homes."
Spertus Museum, Chicago | Susan Schaalman Youdvin
"Gina J. Grillo's photographs capture the idealism and contradiction of the immigrant experience. Her portraits reveal her subjects' displacement and hope, their mingled joy and regret, their bravery and doubts. Ms. Grillo's book is a sensitive presentation of the diverse ages, geographies, and socioeconomic conditions of the immigrants, documenting through art their challenges and opportunities."
Center for Cultural Understanding and Change, The Field Museum | Rosa Cabrera
"This book provides a compelling immigrant journey by the various people who make an American city a microcosm of the world's cultural diversity. These images by Ms. Grillo portray the pain, perseverance, and triumph that accompany the immigration experience, including the process of adjustment to U.S. society and cultural survival."
Leo Schelbert, professor of history emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago
"In Gina J. Grillo's telling photographs, one discovers faces filled with joy and radiant expectation, others show stoic calmness, still others reveal questioning wariness and, it seems at times, sadness. Great longing for what they had to leave behind coupled with unease about their new surroundings, with their different tongue, lifestyle, and occasional disdain and hostility, seem to fill their souls. Grillo's masterful look at children of immigrants in contemporary America provides a unique perspective on the newcomers' enduring challenges."
The Migrant Spirit - Gina J. Grillo
The Plates:
1. Journey/Arrival
2. Identity
3. Assimilate/Americanize
4. Citizen/Citizenship
5. Home
6. Tolerance
Immigration to the United States - Leo Schelbert
The Oath of Allegiance and Children's Oath of Allegiance
About the Photographer and the Essayist
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