Tag Archives: in the news

Alumnus Hank Willis Thomas – Creative Time Reports

“What Is Common to All of Us?”
Redefining Black Male Identity

by Hank Willis Thomas

Creative Time Reports.

Drawing from his collaborative transmedia project “Question Bridge: Black Males,” the artist Hank Willis Thomas examines the racial context of the 2012 killing of Jordan Davis as the man who shot the 17-year-old Florida resident, Michael Dunn, is retried for murder.

Screenshot from “Question Bridge: Black Males,” a collaborative transmedia project of Chris Johnson, Hank Willis Thomas, Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair.

Every person has a “day of infamy” in his or her life. For the parents of Jordan Davis, that day was November 23, 2012. For the parents of Trayvon Martin, it was February 26, 2012. For the parents of Michael Brown, it was August 9, 2014. For me, it was February 2, 2000—a Tuesday. That was the day I lost Songha Thomas Willis, my cousin, roommate, best friend and, for all intents and purposes, big brother. He was shot dead in front of dozens of people during a robbery in which he did not resist. [read more]

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African-American Photography [update]

 “Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People” , a film by Thomas Allen Harris inspired by the book “Reflections in Black” (2000), by DPI Chair Deborah Willis’s is playing at Film Forum until September 9 and is getting a great deal of media attention:

Interview on the Tavis Smiley Show with Deborah Willis and Thomas Allen Harris

‘Through a Lens Darkly,’ on African-American Photography
film review by A.O. Scott,  NYTimes.com

Interview with Thomas Allen Harris and Deb Hillis on WNYC.

Alumnus Hank Willis Thomas is one of the featured artists in the film

Alumnus Hank Willis Thomas is one of the featured artists in the film




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DPI Alumnus Brett Myers & Youth Radio

Alumnus Brett Myers is a producer for Youth Radio, based in Berkeley, CA. He was recently in Ferguson, MO during the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown. He produced this story with young journalist Myles Bess that was featured on NPR > On Ferguson’s Streets, Echoes Of Another Fatal Shooting.

Myles Bess, a reporter and producer with Youth Radio, has been reporting in Ferguson, Mo., where Michael Brown was shot by a police officer on Aug. 9. Bess lives in Oakland, Calif., and in 2009, he lived through the aftermath of the police shooting of another unarmed young black man, Oscar Grant. [read and hear story]

More Youth Radio following Ferguson.

While in Ferguson, Brett also took photos which can be seen on flickr.

Link to more stories on Youth Radio produced by Brett Meyers

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Hank Willis Thomas’s Burning Man Adventures

DPI alumnus Hank Willis Thomas’s Burning Man Adventures Burn Up InstagramFrom artnet news

..how does the desert art rave look through the eyes (and Instagram account) of conceptual artist and photographer Hank Willis Thomas? He’s been in the Black Rock Desert for a week now, posting images from Burning Man both to his personal Instagram feed and that of his gallery, Jack Shainman. [read more]

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Photographers – Know Your Rights:

Know Your Rights: Photographers | American Civil Liberties Union

A great resource from the ACLU

Taking photographs of things that are plainly visible from public spaces is a constitutional right – and that includes federal buildings, transportation facilities, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties. Unfortunately, there is a widespread, continuing pattern of law enforcement officers ordering people to stop taking photographs from public places, and harassing, detaining and arresting those who fail to comply. [read more]

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Alumnus Alan Chin on the Tiananmen Square Anniversary

Today on the 25th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, Edward Wong writes in the NY Times about DPI alumnus and documentary photographer Alan Chin and his experience photographing in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Small crowds of civilians confront soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army on Chang’an Avenue on the morning of June 4, 1989, after the night when soldiers had begun firing on civilians. Photo by Alan Chin

Live Blogging the Tiananmen Square Anniversary
by Edward Wong – NYTimes.com Sinosphere blog

As a photojournalist for The New York Times and other publications, Alan Chin has covered wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kosovo. We traveled together in 2005 to the city of Basra in southern Iraq, where we worked on articles for the Times about the power of Shiite militias. More recently, we collaborated on stories in southern China.

What makes one choose a career as a war photographer? For Alan, who lives in Brooklyn, it was witnessing the violence of the Tiananmen Square crackdown that began the night of June 3, 1989. At the time, he was an 18-year-old high school student from New York making his first trip to Asia with his parents. They had visited their ancestral village in the Taishan area of Guangdong Province, in southern China, and were touring Beijing in late May and early June. They had already heard about the protests while in Guangdong and Hong Kong. Once in the Chinese capital, Alan walked through Tiananmen Square and shot scenes of the protests on black-and-white film using a Leica M3. [continue reading]

For a more detailed account of Alan’s trip to China in 1989, read his photoessay on the Reuter’s Blog: Eyewitness Views: From hope to horror in Tiananmen Square

more links to see Alan Chin’s work:

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Prepare to Take Action to Defend Net Neutrality

FCC ruling on Net Neutrality will affect us all. Here is some important information and actions happening on May 15.

Prepare to Take Action to Defend Net Neutrality. Here’s How the FCC Makes Its Rules.
NEWS from the Electronic Frontier Foundation [check them out if you don’t know about their work]

It’s been hard to go a day without hearing news about the Chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, and his highly contested plan for the future of network neutrality.  Google and Netflix signed a letter with nearly 150 other Internet companies calling on the FCC to reconsider its plan, which would purportedly bless the creation of “Internet fast lanes.” Over a million people across the country have spoken out against that idea, worried that a “pay to play” Internet will be less hospitable to competition, innovation, and expression.

And while Chairman Wheeler and his fellow commissioners have been blogging about the FCCs proposal, no text has been released to the pubic. Not yet, anyway.

…. This Thursday, May 15th< the FCC will finally unveil its “Open Internet” proposal. The last two weeks have been packed with statements, previewing what we can expect for Thursday, and it’s not pretty. It’s time for Internet users to make some statements of their own.

>>> INSTAGRAM/TWITTER ACTION ON MAY 15  #mediajustice #FCCNetNeutrality

>>> Rally in Washington DC

>>> More things to do from the Center for Media and Justice



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Met Hires Sandra Jackson-Dumont as Education Head

We at DPI are very excited about the news that former adjunct professor Sandra Jackson-Dumont will be coming back to NYC to lead the Education department at the Metropolitan of Art. Congratulations Sandra!!

Met Hires Sandra Jackson-Dumont as Education Head

(New York, March 13, 2014)—Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that Sandra Jackson-Dumont will join the Museum as the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education this May. She has been working at the Seattle Art Museum since 2006, where she is the Kayla Skinner Deputy Director for Education and Public Programs as well as Adjunct Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art. Prior to joining the Seattle Art Museum, Ms. Jackson-Dumont worked at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, among other cultural organizations.

“Sandra is a visionary, highly respected educator who has been connecting art and audiences at museums on the East and West Coasts for a number of years,” said Mr. Campbell. “I am thrilled that she has agreed to return to New York City to lead our extensive educational initiatives with her trademark dynamism and intelligence. Education is core to the Metropolitan Museum’s mission, and I look forward to working with Sandra to further the momentum and reach of our programming for visitors of all ages—in classrooms, in the galleries, in our communities, and online.”

“I am honored to be named chairman of education at this critical moment of innovation, creativity, and experimentation at the Met,” said Ms. Jackson-Dumont. “I could not be more excited to collaborate with the Met’s team of exceptional thinkers to curate experiences that engage people across sectors and diverse communities. I am equally excited to partner with curators, artists, educators, and cultural producers on projects that connect the Met to the world in which we live. With its exceptional collections, exhibitions, and education programs, the Met is in a unique position to foster cultural and critical exchange through a global lens, and that is truly inspiring to me.”

read more

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Envisioning Emancipation nominated for NAACP image award

Envisioning Emancipation

Deb Willis’ book Envisioning Emancipation has been nominated for a 2014 NAACP Image Award. Congratulations to Deb and Barbara. <read NYTimes review of the book>

NAACP Image Award Nominations – Outstanding literary work – nonfiction

    • “Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations: 5,000 Years of Literature, Lyrics, Poems, Passages, Phrases, and Proverbs From Voices Around the World” – Retha Powers (Little, Brown)
    • “Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery” – Deborah Willis, Barbara Krauthamer (Temple University Press)
    • “High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society” – Carl Hart (HarperCollins, Harper)
    • “Letters to an Incarcerated Brother: Encouragement, Hope, and Healing for Inmates and Their Loved Ones” – Hill Harper (Gotham Books)
    • “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” – Henry Louis Gates Jr., Donald Yacovone (SmileyBooks)

About the Award

Established in 1967, at the height of the civil rights movement, the NAACP Image Awards is the nation’s premier event celebrating the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors.

The NAACP has long been involved in the continuing struggle for greater participation by African Americans in the entertainment industry. This effort began in 1915 when the organization launched a nationwide protest against the showing of the movie “Birth of A Nation” by D. W. Griffith. The film set in the period immediately after the Civil War, depicted black people as savages and the reconstruction era as a period of corruption. It remains one of the most controversial films ever made. In response to the NAACP’s crusade against “Birth of A Nation,” independent black filmmakers, like the legendary Oscar Micheaux, defied stereotypes by creating movies that portrayed blacks in a positive light.

Awards will be announced February 22.

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Deb Willis @ Sundance

Through a Lens Darkly co-produced by Chair Deb Willis premiered at Sundance Film Festival this week. The film, directed by Thomas Allen Harris, was inspired by Deb’s book Reflections in Black, A History of Black Photographers, 1940 to the present. Below are some images from Sundance. We’ll post information about future screenings when we have it.

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