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Through Our Lens: Photography as a Tool of Social Justice

October 10 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

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Jasmine Banks, Keep Me Posted (Detail of Multimedia Installation), Photographic print, 2020, Courtesy of Shooting without Bullets

Jasmine Banks, Keep Me Posted (Detail of Multimedia Installation), Photographic print, 2020, Courtesy of Shooting without Bullets

To attend: >>Click here to register on Zoom<<


Images have taken a powerful place in the fight against police brutality. From documenting crimes against people of color, to increasing the visibility of protests, mass access to cell phones and digital photography have forever changed the nature of representation.


On Saturday, October 10th, 1:00 – 2:30pm, the Artists Archives will host Through Our Lens: Photography as a Tool of Social Justice, a virtual panel discussion held on the Zoom meeting platform. This 45-minute conversation will investigate the ability of images to create social change, the new face of representation, as well as discuss potential pitfalls of this now ubiquitous media. A live audience Q & A will follow the presentation.


Through Our Lens will be moderated by Cleveland artist and activist Kristi Copez and include panelists Amanda D. King, Founder/Creative Director of Shooting without Bullets, Barbara Tannenbaum, Chair of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs and Curator of Photography, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood, Professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University. Fleetwood is also co-curator of Prison Nation, a traveling photography exhibition which depicts the “hidden” American prison population, fostering empathy and political awareness to facilitate systemic change.


This free program is presented as part of Bridges and Barriers, a photography invitational which uses the landscape of Cleveland to explore the obstacles which face its people and the connections they forge to overcome. The exhibition features regional artists Stephen Bivens, Jef Janis, Chuck Mintz, Lauren Pacini, and Shooting without Bullets, a for-impact organization which deploys artistic activism to break down the systemic barriers which prevent Black and Brown youth from thriving. This dynamic body of work spans traditional analog photography, video projections, and multimedia installations, while tackling such important themes as voting access, racial equity protests, foreclosure, homelessness, and immigration. On view until November 14th.


To attend Through Our Lens: Photography as a Tool of Social Justice, please register here on Zoom.


About Kristi Copez: Kristi Copez is an Advocate-Artist. Blogger. Chronic-Illness-Warrior. Coffee-Lover. Dancer. Foodie. Grandmother. Other-Mother. Maven. Phoenix. Poetic-Essayist. Veteran. & all-around Brazen woman! Kristi Copez was recognized by The Tyrian Network of Ohio & awarded “The Tyrian Artist of the Year” (2017-2018). Tyrian seeks artists whose work promotes harmony with nature and all people, & whose life work align with their mission goals of Creativity, Healing and Peace. Kristi envisions a non-profit (Arukah.Art) in the near future that supports living as a person of faith notwithstanding chronic illness(es), especially women who’ve come through trauma. Arukah.Art will be a sacred space for creating a sense of spiritual, emotional, & physical resilience and vigorous well-being. She has earned her A.A. in Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution, her B.A. in Studio Art, and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Theology & Pastoral Studies.


About Nicole R. Fleetwood: Nicole R. Fleetwood is a writer, curator, and professor of American Studies and Art History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. Professor Fleetwood’s books are Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration (Harvard University Press, 2020), On Racial Icons: Blackness and the Public Imagination (Rutgers University Press, 2015), and Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness (University of Chicago Press, 2011). She is co-editor of Aperture magazine’s “Prison Nation,” a special issue focusing on photography’s role in documenting mass incarceration, as well as co-curator of Aperture’s touring “Prison Nation” exhibition. She has co-curated exhibitions and programs on art and mass incarceration at MoMA PS1, the Andrew Freedman Home, Aperture Foundation, Cleveland Public Library, Mural Arts Philadelphia, and Zimmerli Art Museum. Her work has been supported by the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center, NYPL’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, ACLS, Whiting Foundation, Denniston Hill Residency, Schomburg Center for Scholars-in-Residence, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the NEH.


About Amanda D. King: Amanda D. King is a Cleveland-based artist, activist, and educator. Her civically engaged practice utilizes social justice, art history and photography to spread progressive ideas and messages of equity through art direction, image making, public art and community organizing. Amanda is the founder and creative director of Shooting Without Bullets, a for-impact organization working to eliminate systemic barriers that prevent black and brown youth from thriving. Utilizing cultural production, artist education and development, activism and advocacy, Shooting Without Bullets models an alternative arts ecosystem that accelerates movement Black and Brown youth and their communities need to thrive. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Bryn Mawr College and a JD from Case Western Reserve University where she received the Martin Luther King Jr., Diane Ethics, and Dean’s Community Service Awards.


About Barbara Tannenbaum: Barbara Tannenbaum, Chair, Prints, Drawings, and Photographs and Curator of Photography at the Cleveland Museum of Art, has organized over 125 exhibitions during her four-decade career as a curator and academic. Current exhibition projects include Ilse Bing: Queen of the Leica and Bruce Davidson: Brooklyn Gang. From 1985 through 2011, Tannenbaum was chief curator at the Akron Art Museum, where she acquired numerous works by a diverse group of local, national, and international artists, including growing the photography collection from 500 to 2,500 works. She has authored numerous publications including books on TR Ericsson, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, and the Akron Art Museum’s collection, and lectured throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Brazil, and China.


October 10
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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