In the Shadow of Power: Poverty in Washington, D.C. New Open Society Institute Photography Exhibit at the School of Social Work

January 23, 2009 @ 5:00 am

For Immediate Release

January 23, 2009

New York, NY – With a population of roughly 550,000 people, the District of Columbia is a small city by world standards. Like many other cities in countries around the world, the District of Columbia is a city of extremes, of great power and severe deprivation. Washington has the country’s highest rates of teen pregnancy, infant mortality, and HIV infection. Over 20 percent of the city’s residents and 30 percent of its children live in poverty.

In a new exhibition at the Columbia University School of Social Work entitled “In the Shadow of Power: Poverty in Washington, D.C.,” Venezuelan photographer Kike Arnal documents D.C.’s inner-city neighborhoods from an outsider perspective.  His portraits reveal the homelessness, violence, and poverty that exists in the shadow of the nation’s capitol, and the increasing the gap between the haves and have-nots.

The exhibition is part of the Open Society Institute’s “Moving Walls” series. The exhibit is located on the fourth floor of the School of Social Work building (1255 Amsterdam Avenue) and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10:00am-3:00pm. For more information about the exhibition, please contact Jeannie Hii at 212-851-2327 or, or visit


About the Photographer
Kike Arnal is a still photographer and videographer based in New York City. Originally from Venezuela, Kike has covered stories in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. His photographs have been featured in The New York Times, Life, and Mother Jones, among other leading publications. He has directed and produced video documentaries, including Yanomami Malaria, a film for Discovery Channel about a malaria epidemic among scattered populations of indigenous people in a remote area of the northern Amazon. Currently, Kike is completing a book of photographs illustrating the social contrasts and complexities of Washington, D.C., and beginning a video documentary about life at a D.C. hospice.