In the early 1990s, Japanese photographer Akito Tsuda, then a student at Columbia College Chicago, immersed himself in the Pilsen neighborhood on the city's southwest side, capturing the everyday lives and spirit of working class Mexican Americans.
When he returned home to his native Japan a few years later, Tsuda was uncertain of what to do with his collection of photos and kept them hidden from public view for decades, until he slowly began sharing them on a Facebook page with members of the Pilsen community.
Encouraged by the positive and emotional response he received from the community that welcomed him as a second son and helped form his artistic identity, he published a collection of his photographs, Pilsen Days, in 2017, and returned to Chicago to share his photos in person. His collection of photos, which capture the humanity and warmth of the tight-knit Pilsen community, are now in permanent collection at the Harold Washington Library.
On Friday, October 20 at 7:30 PM CT, join JETAA Chicago for a conversation with Tsuda, who will share his stories of life as an artist in Pilsen in the 1990s. This event is free and open to JET alumni and Friends of JET.