Photography, Community, and Voice. Wendy Ewald. Dawoud Bey. Wendy Ewald + Literacy Through Photography http://cds.aas.duke.edu/ltp/index.html.
At its core, Literacy Through Photography encourages children to explore their world as they photograph scenes from their own lives, and then to use their images as catalysts for verbal and written expression. Framed around four thematic explorations – self-portrait, community, family, and dreams – LTP provides children and teachers with expressive and investigative tools of photography and writing for use in the classroom.
LTP strives to:
Join image making with writing to promote critical thinking
Equip children with new ways of expressing their identities and relating to one another
Allow teachers to better understand the home lives of their students.
Ewald herself often makes photographs with the communities she works with and has the children mark or write on her negatives, thereby challenging the concept of who actually makes an image, who is the photographer, who the subject, who is the observer and who the observed. In blurring the distinction of individual authorship and throwing into doubt the artist’s intentions, power, and identity, Ewald creates opportunities to look at the meaning and use of photographic images in our lives with fresh perceptions.
“With so much art being made at all ends of the market, it’s always a good thing for artists to look both forward and back in trying to access the role that art can play in a larger society, a society that actually exists largely outside of the distorting bubble of the Art World.”
“Artists used to be the ones who led the charge to challenge the system; they were the proverbial “fly in the buttermilk,” the monkey wrench that mucked up the system and made it act, function, and exist in new ways. Artists were the ones who created paradigms of everything the system was not.”
A Man in a Bowler Hat, 1976, “Harlem” Portfolio
“1900-1919: From White to Black,” Exhibition Gallery Museum Views, Interior. Special Exhibitions: Harlem on My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America, 1900-1968. Photographed March 25, 1969: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“To me Harlem on My Mind is a discussion. It is a confrontation. It is an education. It is a dialogue. And today we better have these things. Today there is a growing gap between people, and particularly between black people and white people… There is little communication. Harlem on My Mind will change that.” –Thomas Hoving, 1968
A Boy in Front of the Loews 125th Street Movie Theater, 1976
“My interest in young people has to do with the fact that they are the arbiters of style in the community; their appearance speaks most strongly of how a community of people defines themselves at a particular historical moment.”
- Kellie Jones, “DawoudBey: Portraits in the Theater of Desire,” 1995