JENNIFER CHEEK PANTALEON
is a documentary photographer who has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area over 25 years. Her projects with at-risk youth began in the late 1980’s in SF’s Tenderloin neighborhood taking photographs for children’s advocacy agencies working to create after-school programs, playgrounds, and a school for the areas 4,000 children. This work culminated in a permanent exhibit for the Tenderloin Community School in 2002. From 1997-2001, Jennifer taught photography to homeless teenagers at Youth Industry’s in San Francisco. Since 2004, she has collaborated with teachers in the Photography in Education programs in San Francisco schools. Her documentary projects include young Alaskan gold miners, landmine victims in Cambodia, victims of AIDS in a San Francisco residential hotel, and homeless and runaway teenagers living on the streets of San Francisco. For the last ten years, Jennifer has been teaching photography workshops and photographing street children in Haiti.
Jennifer Cheek Pantaléon has documented the lives of Haitian street children in sometimes quiet, sometimes unruly, always beautiful and touching black and white photographs. Pantaléon uses photography as a way to make visual memories. She also sees it as a tool, with herself as a witness to something incredible. Her project sheds light on the injustices of these children—their needs and also their successes. She says, “Through my photographs, I want people to come face to face with these kids, recognize their dignity and existence, and be moved.” The time that Pantaléon spent in Haiti changed her and gave her purpose; she later founded a non-profit with her Haitian husband dedicated to helping Haitian children.