Jenny Edwards’ projects examine identities and cultures in diaspora. Romani Families, which she made as an undergraduate at RISD, was selected as a finalist for a W Eugene Smith Grant in Humanitarian Photography. It follows an extended family living in poverty and struggling to maintain their way of life without assimilating. The Haredim, which translates from Hebrew as “those who tremble in awe of the word of God,” are sects based in New York, Benei Berak and Jerusalem. They fear the outside world, as its temptations could jeopardize their forefathers’ traditions, which they hold precious. Having as many children as possible, Haredi women see raising children as religious devotion, and their children raise one another.
Edwards has presented solo exhibitions in such venues as Duke University, the Fogg Museum, the Midtown Y, the Photographic Resource Center and the Whistler Museum. She has taught at RISD since 1998 and also in a wide range of settings, from community colleges in Texas to Parsons School of Design in Paris to an Orthodox Yeshiva in Boston. She was worked with young people who are or have been incarcerated with the nonprofit organization Artistic Noise.