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Mike Kane April 12, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.

From the series “Gangland USA”. Grant County, Washington 2009

Mike Kane (b. 1976, USA) is a documentary and editorial photographer based in Seattle. In 2004 Mike received a Journalism MA under Donna DeCesare at the University of Texas, and in 2005 was awarded a two year Hearst Journalism Fellowship which lead to an accomplished career in newspapers. In 2009 he became a freelancer and has since been honored to work with investigative journalism nonprofits, foundations, and publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Mother Jones Magazine. Mike’s ongoing documentary work with gangs has been recognized by the Nieman Foundation at Harvard, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, Blue Earth Alliance, the Center for Documentary Studies, and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

About the Photograph:

This is an early image from “Gangland, USA”, an ongoing project about the proliferation of Latino gangs in rural parts of the United States. For almost two years Creeper was my entrée into the world of gangs in Grant County, Washington. A 20-year old, mid-level gangster with contacts on all tiers of a local Sureño clique, Creeper guided me through his world, a contradictory collision of youth and adulthood, gang life and family ties, rural and urban aesthetics. My purpose has been to document the inner workings of rural gangs and their effects on families and communities, and as such contribute what I can to the public understanding of an under-reported and oft-denied reality: gangs are infiltrating and disrupting rural life in a serious way and are no longer just the problem of large, dense urban areas.