Tuesday, August 29, 2017

More Southern Photographers on the FENCE

Several other Southern photographers have had their work selected for use in the FENCE project, in various places across the country.

Among them are the following, including Charlottesville-based photographer Matt Eich (see image above).

Also, Chapel Hill-based photographer Leah Sobsey (see image above). 

I am honored to say that most of what I know about photography I learned from Sobsey, at the Center for Documentary Studies, in Durham.

Also, Durham-based photographer Shawn Rocco (see image above).

Also, Durham-based photographer Bryce Lankard (see image above).

Also, Chapel Hill-based photographer Gesche Wurfel (see image above). 

Also, Durham-based photographer Marthanna Yater (see image above).

Also, Chapel Hill-based photographer Warren Hicks (see image above). 

Also, Atlanta-based photographer Joshua Rashaad McFadden (see image above). 

Also, Durham-based photographer Chris Ogden (see image above). 

Congratulations to all these folks! Watch for their work on a fence near you. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

News of Southern Photographers, UPDATED -- Late Summer, 2017

We will update this blog entry as more news comes in. But for no, we have the following items:

Durham-based photographer Chris Sims (see image above) has been working for some time on his portfolio Theater of War, documenting the pretend villages of Iraq and Afghanistan that one finds on some military bases in the American South.

Sims' work is now  featured on the Atlas Obscura website, go here

Charleston's Rebekah Jacob Gallery has recently been the subject of a feature story in Charleston's City Paper, go here.

There is an update on this story, from the City Paper, go here.

Savannah-based photographer Emily Earl (see image above) has been chosen by the Atlanta Photography Group to receive the annual $2500 APG/High Museum of Art Purchase Award. 

As a result, seven pieces from Earl’s portfolio Late Night Polaroids will be added to the permanent collection of photography at the High Museum. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

More on Charlottesville -- Matt Eich, The Bitter Southerner, the NY Times

Charlottesville-based photographer Matt Eich (See image above, also images below) photographed the late unpleasantness in Charlottesville for the New York Times. 

Thanks to Joel Brouwer for pointing Eich's work out to me!

You can find more of Eich's work in the NY Times, go here.

Speaking of Charlottesville, The Bitter Southerner has continued its coverage of Charlottesville, go here. 

Especially, check out Alex Johnson's article Separating Hate from Heritage in the Lies They  Told Us, go here. 

Johnson considers the situation many of us who are white Southerners find ourselves in after Charlottesville, descendants of slaveowners or of men who fought in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy.

He thinks about all the stories we heard growing up, that the Civil War (or, perhaps the War of Northern Aggression) was not about slavery but states' rights, that Reconstruction was really bad, that Jim Crow laws and Southern apartheid were best for everyone.

He concludes:

"We’re all victims of those narratives, but the hypothesis was false. 

"As Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens said three weeks before firing on Fort Sumter, “African slavery” was the “cornerstone” of the new country. 

"Slavery was real, and the power of that evil institution lingers in the lies we’ve been told for too long. 

" First, it was the slave owners. Now, it’s the skinheads. Don’t fall prey to their perversions of reality."

The Bitter Southerner's coverage of Charlottesville has itself received some appropriate laudatory attention, by Daniel Funke, go here. 

My friend Catherine Bishir brings us this essay on the history behind the monuments, go here.

All worth viewing and reading, and pondering deeply in our hearts, in the days and weeks and years ahead.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Charlottesville -- August 2017

The Bitter Southerner has published a portfolio of photographs made by Virginia-based photographer Pat Jarrett (see all images in this blog entry) in Charlottesville over the weekend. 

Jarrett also describes his experience covering this event in The Bitter Southerner, go here, in an article called As Loud as a Bomb. 

Chuck Reese, an editor of The Bitter Southerner, says of Jarrett:

"To show us the South at its worst, Jarrett will take his camera and, quite literally, look hate straight in the eye. 

"He has made it his business to understand the individual idiosyncrasies of dozens of hate groups. 

"But on Saturday in Charlottesville, he saw them act in a way he’d never witnessed before: He saw them attack a group of protesters, killing a young paralegal, Heather Heyer, and injuring many others."

Reese gets things about right when he writes, "We cannot ignore the fact that these people — wherever they are from — chose our region, and its symbols of the Confederacy, as the place to take their stand. 

"Therefore, it’s up to us to root them out. As for me, I find myself inextricably drawn to a simple idea: that the time for the benevolent but silent white Southerner is over."

Reese quotes John Pavlovitz, a minister at the North Raleigh Community Church, writing after the events in Charlottesville. 

Pavlovitz says, "White people especially need to name racism in this hour, because somewhere in that crowd of sweaty, dead-eyed, raw throated white men are our brothers and cousins and husbands and fathers and children — those we go to church with and see at Little League and in our neighborhoods. 

"They need to be made accountable by those they deem their “own kind.” They need to know that this is not who we are, that we don’t bless or support or respect this. They need white faces speaking directly into their white faces, loudly on behalf of love."

I'm with Pavlovitz, and with Reese, when he writes, "We know these people. We see them. They are in our communities. 

"For far too long, we have shrugged and tried to ignore words from acquaintances that might suggest sympathy for the neo-Nazis, the Lost Cause apologists, the alt-right, or the so-called “American nationalists.”

"Our silence is no longer acceptable. 

"White people in the South who know better must call out our neighbors and family members who apologize for or justify the actions of murderers, the actions of the deluded, the actions of the cowards, the actions of the dangerous.

"When we hear the code words, the dog whistles, or even completely overt expressions of racism, people like us no longer have a choice.
"We must respond. White faces have to look straight into the eyes of other white faces and say: I will not abide your hatred." 

Reese says that the folks at The Bitter Southerner will be following the aftershocks of the events in Charlottesville, so its well worth our time to keep checking back to their website. 

They say that they "can’t make up [their] minds whether . . . to talk about the cowardice of the racists who brought their hate to Charlottesville or the danger they pose to the future of our region and nation. 

"They are cowards, but they are dangerous, and both facts are worthy of discussion."

And I certainly agree with the "entire BS crew" that "the job of standing up for what’s good about the American South just got harder."

Amen to that.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Lori Vrba on the FENCE

Chapel Hill-based photographer Lori Vrba (see image above) has successfully negotiated the submission process for the recent nationwide FENCE 2017 competition.

As a result, she has a portfolio of work from her Drunken Poets Dream portfolio on display (see below) on, of course, a fence, and in Brooklyn, in New York City, up now through September 10th, 2017.

Congratulations to Vrba! 

Shows of FENCE images will also take place in Atlanta and Durham, with an additional special show of images up in connection with the CLICK! Triangle Photography Festival in October.

Other Southern photographers got chosen to be on the FENCE, for whom notice will follow.

As the people on the FENCE say, 

"The FENCE is a large-scale traveling photography exhibition reaching over 4 million visitors annually through open-air exhibitions in 7 cities across the United States: Brooklyn (NY), Boston (MA), Atlanta (GA), Houston (TX), Santa Fe (NM), Durham (NC), and Denver (CO)."