Futures in Visual Anthropology – April 9, 2015

NOOR/Zaatari Collaborative project

I will be presenting “Inside These Walls”  a discussion of the NOOR Za’atari project at Temple University’s Futures of Visual Anthropology Conference 2015.  The theme this year is “Making Space”.

April 9, 2015                                                                                                                                     Temple University
Ritter Hall Walk Auditorium                                                                                                           4:15 – 5:15pm                                                                                                                       Philadelphia, PA

Inside These Walls:                                                                                                                       Picturing refugees: the Za’atari photographic installation and portrait project

Produced in 2014, the Za’atari project transformed a highly charged political space, the 120 meter concrete barbed wire security wall at the entrance to Jordan’s Za’atari camp for Syrian refugees into a massive photographic mural depicting these refugees on a monumental scale. The mural at the world’s second largest refugee camp was visible to both the subjects of the photographs and to the visitors, stakeholders and diplomats who decide their fate.

The project borrowed some of the visual language of photojournalism however by choice and political necessity, the process required explicit consent and collaboration. The security wall is a highly contested space with multiple parties claiming ownership. There was a real possibility of violence. Consent and respect for cultural and religious norms of representation was a primary consideration. The images also had to strike a particular truth: they had to negotiate the space between the grim reality of the camp and the projects’ s intent to use art as a form of inspiration and empowerment.

In addition to the wall mural, the photographers constructed a photo studio with a black backdrop and invited refugees to have their portraits made alone or with someone or something they loved.  Providing this neutral space as opposed to photographing them against the background of the camp removed the stigma and narrative of refugee status from the portraits.   The subjects chose how to pose and what expressions to offer; the photographers were at their service. Around 500 portrait prints were made on the scene and given to the subjects. The booth operated as a unique space in the camp where refugees had agency.

The presentation will explore this project in detail in the context of using photography as an affirming medium in spaces of disenfranchisement and psychological and social trauma.

NOOR/Zaatari Collaborative project

Nina Berman

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Unloaded

UNLOADED EXHIBITION

My gun, my right - Come and Take it

I will be exhibiting three photographs in Unloaded an exhibition which opens February 13, 2015 at SPACE in Pittsburgh and runs through April 26, 2015.

The exhibition brings together work from 19 artists and collectives working across mediums to explore the historical and social issues surrounding the availability, use, and impact of guns in our culture.

The exhibition was conceived and curated by the immensely talented artist and Carnegie Mellon professor Susanne Slavick.

UNLOADED FRONT flat finalUNLOADED Back columns flat

Photo ©Nina Berman 2013

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Smackmellon – “Respond” Opens January 17, 2015

JoseLuisLebron__002Smackmellon, the Brooklyn arts space, put out a call for artists to respond to the continuing problem of police violence directed mainly at
black and brown residents of New York and across the country. The result is the exhibition “Respond” which brings together 200 art works by photographers, videographers, painters, sculptors, performance artists, activists, street artists and others. I am very excited to be part of this show and will exhibit a photograph I made in 1990 “Funeral for Jose Luis Lebron“,

The Smackmellon Press Release states:

“Nina’s description of this image sums things up: On January 31, 1990 at 5:30 pm, in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York Police Officer Frank Albergo shot and killed 14-year-old Jose Luis Lebron, who was unarmed. An autopsy showed that Lebron was shot squarely in the back of the head. Albergo had been chasing Lebron for allegedly having robbed someone of $10.00 and claimed Lebron had been reaching for a gun. Eyewitnesses told a different tale. Four days earlier, also in Brooklyn, another police officer, shot and killed 17-year-old unarmed Louis Liranso. The two shootings touched off protest marches in Brooklyn. Both officers were cleared of any wrong doing. At Lebron’s funeral family member were overcome by grief and some tried to jump into the gravesite. The 2014 killings of Eric Garner and Akai Gurley, currently in the news, top a long list of similar shootings by the NYPD that have been going on for decades. With each new killing, old cases fall deeper down the list, and are quickly forgotten except by family members and loved ones. Jose Luis Lebron is one of those cases.”

Opening: January 17, 2015
5 to 8pm

Exhibition Dates: January 17- February 22, 2015
Gallery hours: Wed-Sun, 12-6pm
92 Plymouth Street
Brooklyn, NY

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International Center of Photography – December 15, 2014

Please join me in New York City at the International Center of Photography (ICP) for “Frack Off” an artist presentation and panel discussion on Climate Change.Fractured: the shale play
ICP Museum
1133 Avenue of the Americas
NY, NY
7pm

I will be joined by:
Kate Hudson, an environmental attorney with Riverkeeper
Anthony R. Ingraffea, a professor at Cornell University
The talk will be moderated by Adam Harrison

Reserved tickets here

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Palmer Art Museum – November 18

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Please join me for an Artist lecture at the Palmer Art Museum at Penn State
University.

I’ll be showing work from the series: Fractured: the shale play

Tuesday November 18
4:30 pm
University Park, PA

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The Josephine Herrick Project Award 2014

afghan_001 copyJosephine Herrick was a trailblazing photographer, feminist and activist, who understood the transformative nature of the medium. Her work lives on through the Josephine Herrick project which offers a broad range of photography programs — all free — for underserved populations, including veterans, at risk youth and the urban homeless.

I’m very honored to be named this year’s award recipient along with Dr. Steven Flanagan, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at New York University and Medical Director of the Rusk Institute.

A photography auction will be held Thursday November 6 to benefit the organization and I’m donating this image from Kabul, Afghanistan 1998.

Tickets can be purchased here

The event is from 6 to 9pm
Affirmation Arts
523 West 37th Street
New York, NY 10018

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Portland Art Museum Exhibition opening October 18

The Portland Art Museum’s exhibition “Blue Sky at 40″ opens today showing 120 works that have been exhibited at the Blue Sky Gallery, also known as the Oregon Center for Photographic Arts. Blue Sky, founded by Christopher Rauschenberg, is a creative, nurturing institution and an essential resource for documentary photographers and educators. Happy birthday Blue Sky!TysonJohnson02a

This image Tyson Johnson III, 2004 from the Purple Hearts series, is part of the exhibition. I’m very grateful to the Portland Art Museum for continuing to show this image – this will be the 3rd time the print has been on display since the Museum acquired it in 2005. The exhibition runs through January 11, 2015.

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