As part of a project on modern day forms of slavery, I followed a group of black men who returned to the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida. They recalled being taken from their homes as children and sent to this school, which was more like a slave camp. Thousands of young boys, both black and white, were sent to Dozier over the years. Sometimes it was for truancy, or petty theft, sometimes no reason was given at all. Many journalists have covered this story and their reporting helped expose wrongdoing, injustice and brutality. But through it all, the stories of the black men, who received far harsher treatment, were relegated to the sidelines. Because of their diligent efforts to be heard, their story is now told in a piece published in Mother Jones magazine and on line today.
I sought these men out and followed them as they revisited the institution. They spoke about the permanent scars of this kind of racism, terror and humiliation, and how
it changed how they looked, spoke, and moved through the world. Their stories, and how they no longer felt safe in a white world that showed them violence, reminds me of how young black men from Ramarley Graham to Trayvon Martin to Jordan Davis, to the thousands of New Yorkers stopped and frisked by New York Police, are still living the legacy of slavery.
I’ll be exhibiting work from a variety of projects at seven venues in the USA and Europe in September 2013.
Opening September 1
Photos and a new video from the series: Hedge
At the Noorderlicht festival as part of “To Have and Have Not”
Groningen, The Netherlands
Opening September 6, 2013
Nine large photographs from the series: Megachurches
At the Zacheta National Gallery of Art as part of “In God We Trust”
Opening September 14, 2013
Photographs from the series: Marine Wedding
At the Addison Gallery of Art as part of “The Kids are All Right”
Andover, MA, USA
Opening September 19, 2013
Container exhibition from the series: Fractured the Shale Play
At the Photoville 2013 Festival
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Thru September 27, 2013
Images from "Fractured:the Shale Play" – the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project
At the Handwerker Gallery
Ithaca, New York, USA
Thru September 29, 2013
The Marine Wedding portrait as part of the "War/Photography:Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath"
At the Corcoran Gallery of Art
Washington DC, USA
Thru October 13, 2013
The Bronx Gardens series as part of Solutions by NOOR
At La Maison de la Photographie de Robert Doisneau
Remember Agent Orange, the Monsanto produced defoliant which was supposed to smoke out the Vietnamese enemy?
It was a crop killer, a cancer agent, a chemical weapon, sprayed by the tons across Vietnam. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, causing cancer and abnormalities in veterans here and more dramatically, in children in Vietnam, more than one and two generations since the end of the war. (Do the after effects of war ever really end?)
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have their own legacies, depleted uranium, and something you might not have heard of: burn pit exposure. All those military bases constructed like mini cities, produce trash, loads of it: hundreds and thousands of plastic water bottles, body parts, ammo, vehicles, you name it, whatever is discarded is burned and burned hot, lit by jet fuel. Troops lived in this toxic smoke day in and day out. And they got sick, really sick and now they have tumors, organ damage, asthma, and they are dying. Who operated those burn pits? KBR and Halliburton.
A powerful group of veteran victims and their advocates sought justice through the courts, and last week, they lost big time. Bush appointed US District Court Judge Roger Titus ruled that private companies working for the US government – like KBR and Halliburton – can’t be sued.
All photos:Nina Berman
Six months after 32 people were gunned down in a campus building at Virginia Tech, I was commissioned with writer Ariel Leve to visit the university. She wrote an excellent story for the Sunday Times Magazine Some of my photographs are below. Plans must already be underway for a Tuscon, Arizona memorial. More than places of remembrance, memorials encourage closure and seem to announce by their presence, never again. But of course there will be another Columbine and another Virginia Tech and another Tuscon, Arizona, and knowing that, looking at these pictures again, I realize how perfectly the memorial melted into the landscape. What remained out of place and thoroughly unhinged, were the survivors. Photographs ©Nina Berman/NOOR. All rights reserved.
On November 7, 2006 in Hasswa, Iraq, nine-year old Salee Allawe was playing hopscotch outside her home with her brother, cousin and some friends when US mlitary jets fired three missiles, apparently at passenger vehicles. One missile landed where the children were playing, killing Salee’s brother and cousin and taking both of Salee’s legs. Cole Miller, one of the most dedicated humanitarians I have met, and founder of nomorevictims.org, arranged for Salee and her father to go to Greenville, South Carolina where volunteers cared for her and doctors fitted her with a new pair of legs. I photographed her trip there in 2007. Salee’s now a young woman, has outgrown those legs and needs to return. Here are some photos of Salee three years ago and information about her on the NoMoreVictims website. All photos © Nina Berman. The entire story can be seen at NOOR Images
Consequences by NOOR, a group photo project on the causes and consequences of climate change opens at the Ikono Gallery in Brussels.
I’ll be exhibiting two images — the first from a story in 2009 on the pine beetle infestation in British Columbia, and the second from a story in 2010 on Las Vegas.
The exhibit launches Ikono’s new photography space in Brussels.