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Whether at United Farm Worker picket lines in California’s Central Valley or capturing summertime street life in East Harlem, Latinx photographers have documented fights for dignity and justice as well as the daily lives of ordinary people. Yet the work of these artists has largely been excluded from the documented history of photography in the US.
Writer, curator, and arts activist Elizabeth Ferrer endeavors to remedy that. She joins us via livestream in conversation with transdisciplinary artist Laura Anderson Barbata with a visual feast, deriving from her book Latinx Photography in the United States: A Visual History. With individual profiles of photographers from the early history of the photographic medium to the present, she introduces us to Latinx portraitists, photojournalists, and documentarians—and their legacies. With powerful innovative photographic art, the individuals Ferrer discusses touched on family, identity, protest, borders, immigration, marginalization, and other themes. Throughout, she argues that in many cases a shared sense of struggle motivated photographers to work purposefully, driven by a deep sense of resistance, social, and political commitments, and cultural affirmation. Ferrer invites us to explore the first collection to offer a parallel history of photography—one that no longer lies at the margins but rather plays a crucial role in imagining and creating a broader, more inclusive American visual history.
Elizabeth Ferrer, a writer, curator, and arts activist and administrator, is vice president of Contemporary Art at BRIC in Brooklyn. She has worked extensively as a lecturer and has published and contributed to a number of works about Latinx art and photography, including A Shadow Born of Earth and Lola Alvarez Bravo.
Laura Anderson Barbata is a transdisciplinary artist. Her work often combines performance, procession, dance, music, textile arts, costuming, papermaking, zines, and protest. Her work is in various private and public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; el Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico D.F.; and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.