AMANDA RIVKIN is a photographer and writer focused on gender, security, political and military issues in Eastern Europe and the United States. Currently she is at work on a long-term project documenting in portraits and oral histories the victims of Chicago municipal police torture under former Commander Jon Burge. For this work, she has received a grant from the International Women's Media Foundation Howard G. Buffett Fund for Women Journalists and support from The Invisible Institute, a non-profit journalism outfit on the South Side of Chicago. In February 2017, she founded Trumpistan Watch, a free weekday e-mail subscription and blog media monitoring Western and Russian media news sources concerning Trump and Russia, with a particular focus on geopolitical security, media and authoritarianism.
Previously Amanda received two Young Explorers Grants from the National Geographic Society to work in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey documenting the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline route and Bosnia to examine the country’s postwar reconstruction, a Fulbright grant to Azerbaijan focusing on the role of women in society, as well as fellowships from the Dart Center at Columbia University, Yale University, and the American Council on Germany. Her recent work, “Sustenance: Chicago and the Food Chain,” commissioned by Art Works Projects around the issue of child nutrition in Chicago, has been exhibited at the American Corner in Trieste, Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan and during “Hunger Week” at Loyola University in Chicago. Her work was exhibited twice at the Aleppo International Photography Festival, the first time before the Syrian Civil War in an exhibit entitled “Obamaland” and the second time during the first year of the conflict focusing on her work from Azerbaijan and the fomenting of a nationalist narrative, “Tomorrow Belongs To Me”. Her early work covering Chicago politics was displayed in Chicago as well as at Union Station in Washington, DC during Barack Obama’s Inauguration.
Amanda holds degrees from the Georgetown University Graduate School of Foreign Service, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Sarah Lawrence College and speaks fluent Spanish, Polish and Portuguese. She has lived and worked abroad in Azerbaijan, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and elsewhere, spending more than five years of her life outside the United States. Her work has been published widely in the United States and Europe including in Foreign Policy, Le Monde, The London Sunday Times Magazine, The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, TIME and elsewhere. She is the author of one guidebook to Slovakia published by the English language weekly The Slovak Spectator entitled Spectacular Slovakia. Amanda’s work has been cited in books on international oil negotiations, post-Soviet architecture and published in the American Photography annual and a children’s book about the history of the state of Illinois. She currently lives in her hometown, Chicago.