Category Archives: Activism

Hank Willis Thomas on Black Male Identity

Re-blogging from photoandimaging.net

“What Is Common to All of Us?” Redefining Black Male Identity
by Hank Willis Thomas
Creative Time Reports.

Drawing from his collaborative transmedia project “Question Bridge: Black Males,” the artist Hank Willis Thomas examines the racial context of the 2012 killing of Jordan Davis as the man who shot the 17-year-old Florida resident, Michael Dunn, is retried for murder.

Screenshot from “Question Bridge: Black Males,” a collaborative transmedia project of Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair.

Every person has a “day of infamy” in his or her life. For the parents of Jordan Davis, that day was November 23, 2012. For the parents of Trayvon Martin, it was February 26, 2012. For the parents of Michael Brown, it was August 9, 2014. For me, it was February 2, 2000—a Tuesday. That was the day I lost Songha Thomas Willis, my cousin, roommate, best friend and, for all intents and purposes, big brother. He was shot dead in front of dozens of people during a robbery in which he did not resist. [read more]

– – – – – – – – – – – – –
{Proud to say that Hank was a alumnus of Photography & Imaging and a student in my senior projects class.}

Document, Protest, Memorial: AIDS in the Art World

Document, Protest, Memorial: AIDS in the Art World
by Barbara Pollock, ARTnews

It’s been three decades since AIDS first made an impact on the New York art world, annihilating a community and activating one of the most highly effective artist-driven political movements of the 20th century. At that time, for every Keith Haring, David Wojnarowicz, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Felix Gonzalez-Torres lost to the disease, there were scores of lesser-known artists, such as Ray Navarro, Hugh Steers, and Robert Blanchon, who also left their mark with art that documented, protested, memorialized, and reinterpreted the devastation of the era. [read rest of article]

The Real Story About the Wrong Photos in #BringBackOurGirls

NY TIMES LENS BLOG, May 8, 2014
The Real Story About the Wrong Photos in #BringBackOurGirls.

A Twitter campaign using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls has focused global attention on the plight of some 276 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamic militant group Boko Haram. Three photos of girls have been posted and reposted thousands of times, including by the BBC and by the singer Chris Brown (who himself has had issues with anger management and violence against women).

One problem: The photos are of girls from Guinea-Bissau, more than 1,000 miles from Nigeria, who have no relationship to the kidnappings.

The use of these pictures raises troubling questions of representation, and misrepresentation. Ami Vitale, the photographer who made the original images as part of a long-term project, spoke with James Estrin on Thursday. [read more]

Yes Lab: Operation Second Thanks

Our heroes at the Yes Lab strike again calling for renewable energy:

Yes Men at Dept of Homeland Security

To a dance-ready crowd of security and defense contractors at the Homeland Security Congress in Washington, one “Benedict Waterman”—a crazy-haired, bespectacled official supposedly from the U.S. Department of Energy—announces a revolutionary new energy plan to convert the U.S. power grid to entirely renewable sources by the year 2030, and give ownership of the new power-generation facilities to those on whose land they’re built—from Native American nations (thus serving as reparations for genocide) to anyone who puts a solar panel on his or her roof. (See full press release here.)

The plan, “Waterman” announces, will give us independence from the fossil fuel companies who are leading us to ruin, and will additionally create millions of jobs, eventually save half a trillion per year on health care costs, result in lower energy costs and greater price stability, and—bonus!—give our civilization a chance of surviving well into the future. (One such plan is described in some detail here.) [read more]

Link to interview on the Democracy Now site

PAD/D Archive of Political Art

 Highlights From the PAD/D Archive.

The PAD/D archive is comprised of over 2,700 items, split into two sections: Regular files made up of documents, flyers, photographs and slides, and large flat files for posters, prints, and stencils.

Highlights From the PAD/D Archive

Aside from material related directly to PAD/D, countless files are dedicated to socially conscious arts organizations active between 1979–1990. Alongside familiar names such as the Guerrilla Girls, Group Material, Gran Fury, and the Art Workers Coalition (AWC), one will discover a myriad of lesser known collectives such as Angry Arts and Carnival Knowledge. Were it not for the efforts of PAD/D, the histories of many of these groups would have gone undocumented. The archive was formally donated to MoMA in 1994 by PAD/D members Barbara Moore and Mimi Smith. The photographs below represent a tiny portion of the archive. [see photo essay on highlights from the collection]

Read the second article about PAD/D on Hyperallergic

NOOR’s Installation at the Zaatari Refugee Camp

NOOR’s Installation at the Zaatari Refugee Camp

Four photographers from the distinguished Amsterdam-based photojournalism collective NOOR spent New Years in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Located 18 miles from the Syrian border, the camp opened with just 100 families in July 2012. It now hosts around 120,000 residents, making it the second-largest refugee camp in the world….

… These four photographers also documented daily lives in the camp. The resulting images and some from the photo booth have now been made into large outdoor prints that will be hung on the 330 yards of barbed-wire T-walls that surround the entrance to the camp. The aim is to provide refugees inside Zaatari with a way to reflect on their own situation, as well as draw attention to the Syrian refugee crisis. read more

LA FRONTERA: Artists along the US Mexican Border

LA FRONTERA: Artists along the US Mexican Border

Stefan Falke has traveled the entire length of the 2000 miles border in the fall and winter of 2012/13 and photographed painters, photographers, musicians, writers, architects etc … mostly but not exclusively on the Mexican side of the border. He has portrayed over 150 artists in all major Mexican cities along the border and also a few on the US side.

The project is an important archive of artists working in an area that gets unnoticed in the art world. The site highlights the artists rather than focusing on the photographer. I came across this project after reading this article in the NY Times.