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   Jean-Marie Simon Papers 1979-1988 [Bulk Dates: 1982-1983]

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Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Jean-Marie Simon Papers; Box and Folder; Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

Abstract

Jean-Marie Simon is a human rights investigator, lawyer, and photojournalist.

At a Glance

Call No.:HR#0021
Bib ID:12138700 View CLIO record
Creator(s):Simon, Jean-Marie.
Title:Jean-Marie Simon Papers 1979-1988 [Bulk Dates: 1982-1983]
Physical description:0.42 linear feet (1 document box).
Language(s):In English, and Spanish
Access: This collection has no restrictions. This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.  More information »

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically by subject and material type in 1 series:

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Description

Scope and Content

The papers document Jean-Marie Simon's work as a human rights investigator and photojournalist in Guatemala during the 1980s. The papers include Simon's correspondence, interviews and collected research utilized in her various writings and photographic projects during this period.

Series I: Guatemala, 1979-1988

This series is arranged alphabetically by subject and material type. The papers document Jean-Marie Simon's work as a human rights investigator and photojournalist in Guatemala during the 1980s. The papers include Simon's correspondence, interviews and collected research utilized in her various writings and photographic projects during this period.

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Using the Collection

Offsite

Access Restrictions

This collection has no restrictions.

 This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

      offsite requestMore information and link to off-site request form

Restrictions on Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Curator of Manuscripts/University Archivist, Rare Book and Manuscript Library (RBML). The RBML approves permission to publish that which it physically owns; the responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Jean-Marie Simon Papers; Box and Folder; Center for Human Rights Documentation and Research, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Online finding aid available.

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed 09/11/2016 by Christopher M. Laico.

Finding aid written 09/11/2016 by Christopher M. Laico.

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion October 6, 2016 Finding aid written in English. Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.
    2016-10-06 xml document instance created by Christopher M. Laico.

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Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Subjects

HeadingCUL Archives:
Portal
CUL Collections:
CLIO
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
ArchiveGRID
Assassination--Guatemala.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human rights workersPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Human rights--Guatemala--History--20th centuryPortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mayas--Crimes against--Guatemala--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Patrullas de Autodefensa Civil (Guatemala)PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Political violence--Guatemala--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rabinal (Guatemala)--History.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Rabinal (Guatemala)--Social conditions.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Simon, Jean-Marie.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Social movements--Guatemala.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
State-sponsored terrorism--Guatemala--History--20th century.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Women photographersPortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Biographical Note

Jean-Marie Simon is a human rights investigator, lawyer, and photojournalist. After completing her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University in 1978, Jean-Marie Simon received a Fulbright Scholarship to study the indigenous narrative in the work of Ecuadorian novelist and playwright Jorge lcaza Coronel (1906-1978). Within three weeks of arriving in Ecuador, however, she abandoned her original intention of pursuing a career in linguistics in favor of the people, in whom she found both an interest and an affinity. She obtained a 35mm camera and documented their native Indian traditions and their poor often desperate lives.

Upon her return to New York, Simon decided to follow photojournalism full-time and refined her skills as a photographer for the Associated Press (AP). Over the next couple of years, imbued with a strong social conscience, Simon tackled head on projects of deep social concern and political awareness. In 1979, for example, Simon documented the lives of the homeless women living in the lavatories of New York City's Penn Station. Finding that the AP was not very interested in the social content of her work, she decided to take the next step in her photography career and travel on assignment to Guatemala for Amnesty International.

Arriving in December 1980 and designed originally as a three-month assignment, Simon stayed in Guatemala for over seven years. An indefatigable investigator, throughout the violent decade of the 1980s, she travelled all over Guatemala interviewing hundreds of Guatemalans, photographing their ways of life, and documenting the governmental repression of the Ixil a Maya people indigenous to the Cuchumatanes mountains by the forces of Efraín Ríos Montt, who served from 1982 to 1983 as the President of Guatemala. In 1988, Simon chronicled this story in her widely acclaimed volume of photographs, Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny (WW Norton, 1987).

Desiring to have a greater impact on the lives of the people she photographed, Simon has set aside her camera and completed her legal training at Harvard Law School. Jean-Marie Simon now utilizes photographs as visual evidence as a legal advocate pursuing justice on behalf of her former photographic subjects.

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