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Pilsen Days: A Conversation between Photographers Akito Tsuda and Diana Solis

June 12, 2024 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

A young boy, shirtless, stands in the rain, hand on head, with a big smile. An ice cream truck is in the background.

Akito Tsuda, Untitled, 1990s, photograph. Courtesy of the artist.

Join Chicago Public Library for a conversation between photographers Akito Tsuda and Diana Solis, moderated by Deanna Ledezma, to discuss photography, Pilsen, and the unique viewpoint each brings to their art. Tsuda’s photographs are on display at Harold Washington Library Center, June 3 – December 31, 2024, in the exhibition Akito Tsuda: Pilsen Days.

Diana Solís (she/they) is a Mexican-born photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and educator whose practice includes painting, illustration, public murals, and installation. She is inspired by Mexican and Chicano culture, memory, cautionary tales, oral and personal histories, queer identities, and narratives. Her work examines notions of place, identity, and belonging.  As a documentary photographer, Solís has created a vast and ongoing visual archive of LGBTQ+, Latinx and feminist communities and movements from Chicago to Mexico City.

Akito Tsuda is a Japanese photographer who attended Columbia College Chicago in the early 1990s. A photography class assignment took him to the Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen, where over four years he took hundreds of photographs in collaboration with the residents he met. Akito has made several books out of these photos and has returned to Chicago several times in the last ten years to engage with the people he photographed and their families. In 2021, Chicago Public Library Archives and Special Collections Division acquired 118 of his Pilsen images and made them part of their permanent collection.

Deanna Ledezma (she/her) is the Postdoctoral Research Associate for the Inter-University Program for Latino Research/UIC Mellon Program. She earned her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Illinois Chicago and specializes in the history and theory of photography and Latinx art and visual culture. She is also a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she teaches in the Departments of Art History and Liberal Arts.

Presented by the Archives and Special Collections Division.

Need sign language interpretation or other accessibility assistance for this event? Please call (312) 747-8184 or email to request accommodations. Requests must be made at least 14 business days before the event.



Wednesday, June 12, 2024
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Free Admission

Wheelchair Accessible


Chicago Public Library
312 747 4300
View Organizer Website


Life-long Learners, Scholars, Teens
Free Admission, Wheelchair Accessible
Event Topics
Art Education, Community, LGBTQ+, Women Artists




Harold Washington Library
400 S. State St.
Chicago, IL 60605 United States
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