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Photography and Social Activism

Fri, Sept 16, 2016  6:30–8 PM

Location: Floor Three, Susan and John Hess Family Theater

Photographers Keith Calhoun, Chandra McCormick, and Susan Meiselas join Julian Cox, Chief Curator and Founding Curator of Photography, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (FAMSF) and Chief Curator at the de Young Museum, to discuss documentary photography and the evolving relationship of photography and film to social activism in the U.S., from the Civil Rights Movement to recent movements such as Occupy and Black Lives Matter. The artists will address these topics in relation to their own photographs, which have captured often marginalized communities on the East Coast and in the Southern U.S., among other areas.

About the speakers:
Since the early 1980s, photographers Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick have chronicled the African American experience in New Orleans and the surrounding Louisiana parishes. Working collaboratively, Calhoun and McCormick have documented the demise of manual laborers in the sugar cane fields of Louisiana; the dockworkers and longshoreman on the New Orleans waterfront; the sweet potato harvesters; and the displacement of African Americans after Katrina. As part of their labor series, their documentation has covered the cruel conditions of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, a former slave-breeding plantation named for the African nation from which “the most profitable” slaves, according to slave owners, were kidnapped. Calhoun and McCormick’s images have been shown widely, at institutions including the Brooklyn Museum, the Louisiana State Museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, L9 Center For The Arts, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art as part of Prospect.3: Notes for Now (2014–2015), and the 2015 Venice Biennale.

Susan Meiselas joined Magnum Photos in 1976 and has worked as a freelance photographer since then. Meiselas has had one-woman exhibitions in Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, and her work is included in international collections. She has received numerous awards, including the Cornell Capa Infinity Award (2005), the Harvard Arts Medal (2011) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2015). In 1992, she was named a MacArthur Fellow.

This program is being held in connection with Danny Lyon: Message to the Future.

Tickets are required ($10 adults; $8 members, students and seniors). Please note: This event has reached ticketing capacity. A limited number of standby tickets may be available at the admissions desk on a first-come, first-served basis. The standby line will open one hour prior to the program’s start time.

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Shakedown at Ellis Unit, Texas, 1968. Vintage gelatin silver print. 8 1/2 × 12 1/4 in. (21.6 × 31.3 cm). Museum of Modern Art. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York
 

Danny Lyon (b. 1942), Shakedown at Ellis Unit, Texas, 1968. Vintage gelatin silver print. 8 1/2 × 12 1/4 in. (21.6 × 31.3 cm). Museum of Modern Art. © Danny Lyon, courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York