​​Lilian Caruana Photography 

About Me

My roots are in documentary photography and the central theme of my photographic work is about individuals who are outside the mainstream of the larger society.  Some of the subjects I have photographed include immigrants, punks, skinheads, and gang members.  I explore how individuals who, either by choice or because they are seen as the “other” live outside the dominant culture. My goal is to capture how individuals shape their identity, fend off alienation, and give voice to their own existence. This theme comes out of my own experience as an immigrant, trying to negotiate my identity as an Italian-American.

For my project documenting New York’s East Village community of punks and skinheads in the  1980s, I wanted to look beyond their exoticism—their ragged, torn, and slashed clothing, hardware jewelry of safety pins, studs, chains, shaved heads, mohawks, or spiked haircuts, and their body tattoos.  I wanted to learn more about who they were and what they believed in and photographed them at hardcore performances at the legendary punk rock club, CBGB, and then followed them to where they lived, as squatters in abandoned tenement buildings in the East Village. 




Rebels: Punks and Skinheads of New York's East Village

 Free Turtledove Press, 2016


Let Fury Have the Hour [documentary film] - 2012

If You Lived Here,  edited by Brian Wallis,  Dia Art Foundation - 1991

Blitz Magazine -  Muslim Vigilantes - 7/1988

Blitz Magazine -  Hardcore Skinheads -  8/1987

Ethnic Guide to Queens, published by the Queens Council on the Arts  (Photographs of religious shrines in Italian

   neighborhoods) -1987

The Italian Americans by Allon Schoener, Macmillan Press -1987

Traditional Italian Music - booklet featuring photographs of traditional Italian Musicians; produced by Global

   Village Music, NYC -1986-7

Omaha Magazine - Joy of Sects - 1978

Illini Papers –Federally funded Bicentennial Publication - photographs of Chicago's near West Side, historically the

   home of newly arrived immigrants; documented the cultural makeup of the neighborhood, drawing upon its          daily themes - street life, religious activities, social clubs, local commerce and urban renewal's effects -1976


Davis Orton and Griffin Museum of Photography, - 2015

Calandra Italian American Institute - 2010 (one person show)

New York Public Library “8 Million Stories” Exhibit - 1998-1999

Zoller Gallery, Pennsylvania University – 1989

Midtown Y Gallery - 1988

Bruce Gallery, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania - 1987

The Midtown Photographic Gallery – 1986

Hechscher Museum, Long Island - 1985

Photographic Collections

New York Public Library’s Print Collection

Brooklyn Museum’s Permanent Collection

Mayor's Voluntary Action Committee Collection

Private Collections

Curatorial Work​

The Woman's Eye:  Women in Photography Symposium and Exhibit

Western Heritage Museum, Omaha, Nebraska -- 1978

Conceived and curated a photographic exhibit and symposium on the contributions of women to the history and the art of photography.  Symposium explored the question of women's unique photographic vision via lectures, movies, workshops and performance of Freshwater, Virginia Wolf's play about her great aunt, Julia Margaret Cameron.  Exhibit included juried exhibition of photographs by Nebraska women photographers as well as photographs from the Sheldon Museum's collection in Lincoln, Nebraska.

People Helping People Exhibit

Tweed Gallery, New York, New York -- 1985

Curated photographic exhibit commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Mayor's Voluntary Action Committee.  The exhibit's mission was to highlight contributions historically made by volunteers in tackling a variety of social problems, including public advocacy, civil rights, literacy, homelessness, AIDS, etc.   

Grants Received

Nebraska Committee for the Humanities -1979

University of Nebraska - 1978