Dana Lixenberg went to South Central Los Angeles on assignment for Vibe Magazine immediately after the riots that erupted following the verdict in the Rodney King trial. What she encountered inspired her to revisit the area, and led her to the community of the Imperial Courts housing project in Watts. Returning countless times over the following twenty-two years, Lixenberg gradually created a collaborative portrait of the changing face of this community. Over the years, some in the community were killed, while others disappeared or went to jail, and others, once children in early photographs, grew up and had children of their own. In this way, Imperial Courts constitutes a complex and evocative record of the passage of time in an underserved community. Dana Lixenberg’s portraits of this community in transition is a genuinely special documentary project – twenty years in the making, beautifully designed by Roger Willems of Roma one of the most innovative books designers working today.
Published by Roma, 2015