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Louise Åkebrand was born in Bad Homburg, Germany in 1986 and immigrated to Utah as a teenager where she is currently finishing her BFA in photography at Weber State University. Her work explores spaces of intimacy within the structure of contemporary surveillance.
In 2012, Louise was a finalist in the student fine art category of the New York Photo Awards, exhibiting at the Dumbo Arts Festival.
These images have been selected from a larger series titled Sons of Juárez. What initially drew me to Google Earth Street View is its ability to offer portraits that hold a unique sense of neutrality and even objectivity, despite its many technical failures. People in these random visual samples become mere casualties caught by a lens intended to map geography. I began to wonder what this application might do with a place as complex and perhaps misunderstood as Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
I was surprised to find that the majority of the city had Street View available, significantly more than neighboring El Paso. Google first started recording Juárez in 2009, at a time when the city had already been called the most dangerous city in the world, a place of incomprehensible violence and corruption, and a relentless glimpse into our future.
I spent several hours a week for close to seven months on virtual walks through the city and its suburbs collecting samples. Although the Street View archive of Juárez holds uncanny weight, it also carries a familiar narrative, one of da