On Saturday April 22nd, I’ll share my Significant Surfaces and Wild Lines projects at the Open Engagement conference which takes place in Chicago this year. My talk is called “Towards a philosophy of socially-engaged photography” and it will start at 3:00pm in the UIC Gallery 400 Lecture Room.

In related news, Janet M., who participated in Significant Surfaces and is featured in Wild Lines 1, will be featured in a new production called The Homeless Monologues at the Goodman Theater.

Janet tells me she’s really excited to have her stories performed by a professional actor. She’s been spending more time doing outreach and educating the public about homelessness, and she’s looking forward to going to a conference in DC as a member of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter Associate Board. All the funds raised at this event will benefit the Lincoln Park Community Shelter where Janet is a devoted volunteer.

We hope to see you at one or both of these events!

* “Open Engagement (OE) is an annual, three-day, artist-led conference dedicated to expanding the dialogue around and creating a site of care for the field of socially engaged art. The conference highlights the work of transdisciplinary artists, activists, students, scholars, community members, and organizations working within the complex social issues and struggles of our time.” Find out more at http://openengagement.info/

I’ll be tabling today at a community event hosted by StoryCorps, Cabrini Green Legal Aid, Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation, Community Renewal Society, Growing Home, Free Write and Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois.

Dismantling Barriers to Life is a speak out about the impacts of mass incarceration. The event will also serve as a space for people to think through ways of collectively building resistance and taking action.

Event Highlights:

  • Audio stories recorded in partnership with StoryCorps
  • Panel discussion on ‘Barriers to Life’
  • Peace Circles facilitated by Precious Blood Ministry of Reconciliation
  • Share & connect to advocacy organizations

MC’ed by Colette Payne and Marlon Chamberlain.

Colette Payne is an organizer, leader, student, mother, and grandmother. Since 2014, Colette has acted as the head of the Visible Voices program for the CLAIM (Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers) Program and now serves as the Community Organizer for Cabrini Green Legal Aid. In 2015 Colette joined the delegation to assess women’s prisons in Illinois, becoming the first formerly-incarcerated woman to serve in this role in the entire United States. Colette was also selected as a 2016 Fellow for JustLeadershipUSA.

Marlon Chamberlain was released from Federal Prison on May 29, 2012 after serving 10 years. Following his release, he began working with the F.O.R.C.E. Project (Fighting To Overcome Records & Create Equality), an initiative of the Community Renewal Society led by people with records, and currently serves as its Organizer. Marlon is also a student at Kennedy King College in pursuit of his Master’s degree in Social Work. He is a devoted family man, who continues to put his faith into action by building relationships with congregations and like-minded people to fight against racism, discrimination, and poverty.

Light refreshments will be served. Doors open at 12:30PM. For accessibility needs please contact Chicago@StoryCorps.org. To RSVP, please visit the Eventbrite page.

Next Saturday in Miami I’ll be screening a new short doc as part of the #nobrozone at Borscht‘s 10th film festival. It’s called the Pamplemousse Party and you can get tickets here. Borscht is doing amazing things for indie filmmakers and setting an example for arts orgs everywhere. This commission supported a production process where I never had to ask men for permission or approval for my creative decisions. Read about the entire weekend of activities in this preview from the Miami New Times. Also did I mention TRINA will performing at the screening?!

Thank you Borscht

I’m working on the second installment of my Wild Lines series with support from Miami’s Borscht film group. In December I was fortunate to travel to Miami to interview people about the Little Haiti neighborhood, the Krome Immigration Detention Center, and Three Sisters Farm which grows a dazzling array of organic tropical fruits. I’m working on post-production and editing now and I’m looking forward to sharing the results soon!

Immgiration has been addressed during the presential debates this year, but race and racism has not gotten the attention that it deserves. Both are issues that are very important to me and that have been woven throughout my work over the years. If you are in Louisville, I’m pleased to let you know that my business card piece about notions of belonging and citizenship, “The Only Reason”, will be available at the contemporary galleries at Speed Museum, just in time for the election next week. The display is through March 31st, so stop by and pick up your very own copy!