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Capturing The Displaced: Times-Union Photog Wins Grant To Print Series Depicting LaVilla

Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville
Visitors look at Bob Self's LaVilla photographs at the Jacksonville Public Library. Self said that show is a small part of what he plans to submit to The Ritz

Florida Times-Union photojournalist Bob Self is getting a grant to print and frame pictures he took in Jacksonville’s LaVilla neighborhood before its mostly-black residents were displaced and most of its historic buildings were bulldozed in the mid-90s.

The work will be part of the Ritz Theatre and Museum’s permanent collection. 

Self said many of the photos have been striking a nerve with visitors at a temporary exhibit at the Jacksonville Library.

“You can see the dynamic between people in the neighborhood. You can see the emotions of people in the neighborhood,” he said. “I was privileged to see several situations where people [were] leaving their homes and getting very emotional about it and to document things like that that were just the daily life of what was going on in that point in time.”

Credit Jessica Palombo
Bob Self chats with guests in WJCT's green room.

Self said, for the Ritz exhibit, he plans to print 40-to-45 photographs from the 17-month-long LaVilla project he did between 1995 and 1996.

The $1,000 grant is funded through a partnership between the Cultural Council and the nonprofit arm of Community First Credit Union.

Self is one of five artists receiving the grants and other artists are being invited to apply for a second batch of grants between now and October 18.

WJCT News reached out to the Ritz Theatre and Museum for the exhibit's debut date. Once a finalized date is received this story will be updated.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP
Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.