Photographer and writer Patrick Breslin grew up in the immigrant communities of New York City’s South Bronx. After college, he worked as a newspaper reporter, then as a Peace Corps volunteer in Colombia before earning Master’s and PhD degrees in political science from NYU and UCLA. Concurrently, he worked as a Peace Corps trainer, a journalist, and a research director at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He studied photography at the Corcoran Gallery and the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
His solo exhibition, Georgian Reflections, 43 photographs juxtaposing public sculpture and people in Tbilisi, Georgia, was presented at the Kharkiv (Ukraine) Municipal Art Gallery April 22-May 11, 2011.
A second solo exhibition of the same work was held at the Georgian Embassy to the United States, Washington DC Nov. 5-16, 2012.
His photographs have appeared in the following group exhibitions:
- June 2003
National Council de la Raza, Conference on Afro-Latinos,“The Afro-Latino Experience”
- October 2003
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
First International Conference of Latin American Recycling Organizations
“Recycling for the Future”
- April 2008
Organization of American States, Washington D.C.
“Indigenous Peoples in Latin America and the Caribbean”
- October 2009
Library of Congress, Washington D.C.
“Picturing Grassroots Development: An Exhibit in Celebration of the Inter-American Foundation’s 40th Anniversary”
(Also shown at the University of Texas-El Paso, September 2010 and the University of Hawaii-Manoa and University of Hawaii-Hilo, November 2010.)
- April 2010
City University of New York-Hostos
“Toward Full Inclusion: The Inter-American Foundation and the Hemisphere’s African Descendants”
Published photographs have appeared in: The Audubon, Garden, Grassroots Development, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, World Wildlife Fund, Urban Age Magazine.
Besides photography, Breslin has published two books, Interventions, a novel set in the turbulent period of the 1973 military coup against President Allende in Chile, and Development and Dignity, on the Inter-American Foundation, a semi-independent US government agency. In 1987, Breslin joined the IAF staff, where he directed research, wrote numerous articles, handled country portfolios in Honduras and Colombia, and was principal staff photographer for the IAF Journal. From 2000-2007, as vice president for external affairs, he oversaw publications and represented the Foundation before Congress.
Breslin’s articles and book revlews have appeared in major US magazines such as Smithsonian and several newspapers, principally the Washington Post. Topics include folklore in Ireland and Mexico, flea markets in Texas, the rebuilding of New York’s South Bronx, human rights as a foreign policy issue, and scientific metaphors for understanding development challenges. His photography documenting aspects of the struggle for a better life by poor people in Latin America still plays a prominent role in IAF publications.
Breslin now divides his time between Ukraine, Ireland and the United States. He is currently finishing a novel set in Ireland while continuing to work on photo essays.