Jun 32023
 archive : 2023

Opening Night at PHOTOVILLE!

Join us for an evening of music, community, and beautiful visual storytelling as we celebrate how photography captures and reflects our histories.

Presenters: Shani Kulture Sue Kwon Javon Lomax Latrice M. Walker Betty Yu Salwan Georges Vikki Tobak Barron Claiborne (BC AFRICANUS) Joseph Patel DJ LiKWUiD Jamel Shabazz Joseph Rodriguez Khary Mason

Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn

Number 11 on the official photoville map

Click to download this year's map

Presented by:

  • Photoville
  • Contact High
  • Magnum Foundation
  • TIME
  • The Washington Post
  • We Build the Block

As the sun sets, join us for an evening of music, history, community, and (of course) beautiful visual storytelling! To commemorate our 12th year, Photoville will present an evening of photography that reflects how we see our history: including a centennial celebration of TIME Magazine, an intimate reflection on returning home to Iraq by The Washington Post staff photographer Salwan Georges, and celebrations of our local NYC communities from We Build The Block and Magnum Foundation. Topping it all off, we’re sharing a special preview of “Contact High,” showcasing the history of hip-hop photography.

And end the night with us as one of our favorites, DJ LiKWUiD closes out with tunes and dancing under the stars!


JOIN US at 7PM for

Blessed In Da Ville: What Do You See When You See Me?

by We Build The Block

Spoken word piece performed by Javon Lomax and Lymek Fraizer. Video Presentation by We Build the Block. Conversation with Sue Kwon, Dushon “Bigga” Almond, and AM Latrice Walker moderated by Hot 97’s Shani Kulture.


Artist Spotlight: Family Amnesia by Betty Yu

by Magnum Foundation

Artist Betty Yu invites viewers to learn about her Chinese-American family roots in the U.S. through her engaging and interactive zine. The zine explores her family’s multi-generational resilience and resistance through family photos, collages and short personal films.


100 Photos through TIME


As TIME celebrates its centennial year, the iconic publication will showcase 100 photos that tell the essential stories of the people, events, and ideas that have shaped the world.


Another Perspective

by Jamel Shabazz, Joseph Rodriquez, and  Khary Mason 

Three photographers, representing three generations that all have a connection to the criminal justice system and a common love for documentary photography, speak about their work.


The Iraq I never knew

by The Washington Post

What is it like to leave a country in crisis – only to return years later to a devastated homeland? Salwan Georges, a Post photojournalist journeys back to Iraq after 24 years.


Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop

by Contact High

Take a journey into the film adaptation of CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop as we give you a sneak peek of the upcoming release directed by Joseph Patel and produced and written by Vikki Tobak. Celebrating the photographers who have played a critical role in bringing hip-hop’s visual culture to the global stage, CONTACT HIGH is an inside look at the work of hip-hop photographers, as told through their most intimate diaries: their unedited contact sheets. This night will highlight the scene examining the legendary Notorious B.I.G through photographer Barron Claiborne’s King of New York photos.

Presenter Bios

  • Shani Kulture

    Shani Kulture

    Leading a new generation of talent. Having worked his way up the ladder, Shani Kulture reaches the masses every weekday as an on-air personality on Hot97’s Morning Show. He continues to use his platform as a forum to help educate today’s youth thru his Non-Profitoutreach campaigns “No Disrespect Inc.” and “We Build The Block” Co-Founded by Michael K. Williams and Dana Rachlin.

    Serving as a liaison between the mainstream and the underground, Kulture keeps his ear to the street by hosting and coordinating cultural fashion, and club events. He continues to share and develop his craft by producing and hosting projects such as HOT 97’s showcase “Who’s Next” as well as creator and host of “This Is Kulture”. “TIK” is a docu-series that connects and exposes a variety of lifestyles locally, nationally and internationally from Art, Music, Fashion, Food, Politics and more.

  • Sue Kwon

    Sue Kwon

    Photographer Sue Kwon lives and works in NYC. She explores the scope of everyday archetypes through portraiture, both in the studio and on the streets. Alongside iconic hip-hop figures such as Beastie Boys to the Wu-Tang Clan, she documents images of familiar life such as children playing in Little Italy and rituals of a Brooklyn high school prom.  Kwon’s subject is the spirit of the city. Her photographs evoke a sense of nostalgia to the city’s vibrant landscape, with a nod to earlier times and its far-reaching creative fortitude.

    Her work has been exhibited in NYC, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, Copenhagen, Modena, and London, and is in the public collections of The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum, the Alex Katz Foundation, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

    Kwon is the author of two critically celebrated books, Street Level(Testify Books, 2009) and most recently, Rap is Risen: New York Photographs 1988-2008 (Testify Books, 2021).

    Photo by: Atsuko Tanaka @atsukohlic

  • Javon Lomax

    Javon Lomax

    Director of Healing & Circle Facilitator for We Build the Block Javon Lomax is a restorative justice practitioner with a wide range of experience. His story is one of perseverance being justice involved since the age of 16 and undergoing countless arrests. This part of his story fuels him to empower connection and healing in lives around the world. In 2018, Javon Lomax participated as a community volunteer for a diversion program in the Bronx that he would later be offered a circle keeper role after his continued commitment and impactful stories was felt by the organization. He would later go on to study under several seasoned RJ practitioners from all over the country and read countless material of healing work happening all over the world. Javon Lomax made the decision 5 years ago to leave his career path of sales and marketing and has since facilitated circles all over NYC for professionals, justice involved individuals, families connected by violence, and led trainings for individuals interested in Restorative Justice. Javon Lomax has since launched his own nonprofit where he provides resources and counseling to enhance the mental health to communities across NY and NJ and continues to challenge and push the field of RJ forward.

  • Latrice M. Walker

    Latrice M. Walker

    Assemblywoman Latrice M. Walker has been serving people her entire adult life. Walker brings to the New York State Assembly a passion and fortitude reminiscent of the streets of Brownsville, Brooklyn, where she was born and raised. Even as a teen, Walker always wanted to see her name in lights. She had dreams of becoming an actress, but the rigors and rewards of law school, passing the bar and being a practicing attorney drew her back to service. A graduate of the Pace University School of Law, Walker built a strong record of advocacy that eventually led her to politics. She represented people who were targeted by the NYPD’s use of the unconstitutional police tactic known as stop-and-frisk. Walker battled in court on behalf of tenants, including NYCHA residents, who were on the brink of eviction. And she worked closely with advocates and elected officials to preserve affordable housing. Walker is the chair of the Assembly’s Election Law Committee. And she’s a member of the Housing, Judiciary, Codes and coveted Ways and Means Committees. She is a leading voice on voting rights, criminal justice reform, environmental justice, affordable housing, tenants’ rights, and a host of other issues that are important to New Yorkers.

  • Betty Yu

    Betty Yu

    Betty Yu is a socially engaged multimedia artist, filmmaker, photographer, and activist born and raised in New York City to Chinese immigrant parents. Yu integrates documentary film, new media platforms, and community-infused approaches into her practice, and she is a co-founder of Chinatown Art Brigade, a cultural collective using art to advance anti-gentrification organizing. She holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College/CUNY, and New Media Narratives program certificate from the International Center Photography.

    Yu teaches new media, video, social practice, art and activism at Hunter College and Pratt Institute. In addition to over 20 years of community, media justice, and labor organizing work. Among various distinctions, her multimedia work was part of the After the Plaster Foundation, or, “Where Can We Live?” exhibition at Queens Museum from 2020-21. In Fall 2020, she curated Imagining De-Gentrified Futures at Apex Art in Tribeca, NYC. In 2018, she had a solo exhibition at Open Source Gallery in New York.

  • Salwan Georges

    Salwan Georges

    Salwan Georges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist for The Washington Post. He studied journalism at Oakland University in Rochester, Mich. In 2020, Georges was awarded a Pulitzer Prize with his team for covering climate change around the world. In 2023, he was named Photographer of the Year by National Press Photographers Association for his work covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the race to save Black Rhinos in Africa, and the fentanyl crisis in U.S. and Mexico. In 2021, Georges was named Photographer of the Year by Pictures of the Year International for covering a racial reckoning in Minneapolis, an unforgettable U.S. national election, and a deadly pandemic. His ongoing work on Middle Eastern communities in the United States has been added to a collection at the Library of Congress in D.C.

  • Vikki Tobak

    Vikki Tobak

    VIKKI TOBAK is an author, journalist, and curator. She is the author of critically acclaimed books CONTACT HIGH: A VISUAL HISTORY OF HIP-HOP (Clarkson Potter/Random House), 2018); ICE COLD: A HIP-HOP JEWELRY HISTORY (Taschen 2022) and The Streets Win (Rizzoli 2023). Her work has appeared in Complex, Rolling Stone, The FADER, ESPN’s The Undefeated, Mass Appeal, Paper, Vibe, i-D, the Detroit News, The Library of Congress and more. Tobak is also the curator of the traveling Contact High exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography, The International Center of Photography, Manarat Al Saadiyat (MAS)in Abu Dhabi and MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture). Tobak and the exhibition were nominated for a Lucie Foundation Award for Curator / Exhibition of the Year. She is a former producer and columnist for CBS, CNN and Bloomberg News. Vikki got her start as a culture editor for Paper magazine before going on to work at Payday Records/Empire Management working with groups including Gang Starr, Jay-Z, Mos Def, Show and AG, Jeru and other hip-hop legends of the Golden Era. She has lectured widely about music photography and contemporary culture at American University, The Schomburg Center, The Kennedy Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

  • Barron Claiborne (BC AFRICANUS)

    Barron Claiborne (BC AFRICANUS)

    Barron Claiborne (BC AFRICANUS) was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a self-taught photographer and began taking photographs at the age of 10 after receiving a camera as a gift  from his mother, Betty Lou. He works primarily in large format, 8×10 and 4×5. In 1989, he moved to New York City. In 2001, he began working on a project which involved 8×10 polaroids of the Female Form (Venus Aurea), Women (Goddess), Saints (Muurmaidens and Orishas), and the Twins (Double Duplication). The inspiration for his work is both historical, mythological and imaginary. The symbolic imagery represents dreams, stories, and the oral traditions of his Southern American and African ancestry. His work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Interview, among others. He has photos in museums and private collections worldwide.

  • Joseph Patel

    Joseph Patel

    Joseph Patel is an Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, working as a producer, director and writer. He recently produced the feature “Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”, directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson. The film won the 2021 Oscar for Best Documentary Film, as well as multiple other awards (BAFTA, Peabody, Grammy, Independent Spirit, PGA, Critics Choice, Grammy, Sundance Grand Jury & Audience Award).

    Joseph began his career as a music and culture journalist based in California. He later produced and directed television, short films and digital content for MTV, Vice Media, The Fader and Vevo. Joseph is the producer of an upcoming documentary on Sly & The Family Stone, with Questlove; and director on a documentary on J Dilla, based on the book “Dilla Time” by Dan Charnas. Joseph lives in Brooklyn with his wife and dog.

  • DJ LiKWUiD

    DJ LiKWUiD

    Hip Hop Fusion artivist, DJ, songwriter, music curator and educator, LiKWUiD (Stylez), born Faybeo’n LaShanna Aja Mickens, is committed to using her gift of song to empower the portrayal of women in the entertainment industry.  As an avid lover of the African American diaspora of music, LiKWUiD’s style of djing is based around blending beats together as one tapestry of sound. Afrobeats, Hip Hop, Rare Grooves, Reggae, House and live remixes are often incorporated in her live DJ sets.

    LiKWUiD has performed nationally and internationally for organizations such as Google NextGen, Sony Music, Photoville, Summer Stage, Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival, Doku.Tech, The Apollo Theater, Super Fine Art Fest, Time Out Market and more. As a songwriter, her film credits include placements with HBO Latino Films, IFC Films, Oxygen Network, MTV and several indie projects.

    LiKWUiD is fully committed to combining hip hop and education. She is an Alternate Roots Hip Hop Scholarship recipient, South Carolina Governor’s School Inductee and a College of Charleston (BA) and St. John’s University (MBA) graduate. She has performed, presented workshops, lectures and participated on panels at academic spaces such as Columbia University, BAM, the Eleanor Roosevelt School for Girls, the Hip Hop Culture Center, Uptown Vinyl Supreme, Flocabulary, Comic Con and more.

    LiKWUiD released her collaborative album and performance piece EllaMaeFlossie presents Tea Time, an audio-visual-movement journey via the lens of afrofuturism. The performance piece premiered at the East Village Planetarium, in partnership with the Lower Eastside Girls Club. The self-titled album was inspired by Gullah Gospel, Harlem Jazz, soulful hip hop with afrobeat undertones and was released by The Orchard, a division of Sony Music.

  • Jamel Shabazz

    Jamel Shabazz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. At 15, he picked up his first camera and started to document his peers. In 1980, he embarked on a mission to extensively document New York City, from youth culture to a wide range of social conditions.

    Shabazz says his goal is to contribute to the preservation of world history and culture. He has worked with a wide range of organizations centered on inspiring young people in the field of photography and social responsibility. He has been a teaching artist with the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, the Bronx Museum’s Teen Council youth program, the International Center of Photography, Friends of the Island Academy, and the Studio Museum in Harlem’s Expanding the Walls Project.

    Shabazz is the author of 5 monographs. He is presently working on a new book, The Book of Life.

  • Joseph Rodriguez

    Joseph Rodriguez

    Joseph Rodriguez was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He began studying photography at the School of Visual Arts and went on to receive an AAS from New York City Technical College. He worked in the graphic arts industry before deciding to pursue photography further. In 1985, he graduated with a degree in photojournalism and documentary from the International Center of Photography in New York. He went on to work for Black Star photo agency, and print and online news organizations like National Geographic, the New York Times Magazine, Mother Jones, Newsweek, New York Magazine, Esquire, SternBBC News and New America Media, as well as advertising campaigns for Levi’s, AIG, and Ikea.

    He has received awards and grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts Artist Fellowship, USC Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism, the Open Society Institute Justice Media Fellowship and Katrina Media Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography, the Alicia Patterson Fellowship Fund for Investigative Journalism and the Konstnarsnamden Stipendium. He has been awarded Pictures of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association and the University of Missouri in 1990, 1992, 1996, and 2002. He is the author of Spanish Harlem, part of the American Scene series, by the National Museum of American Art/D.A.P., as well as “East Side Stories: Gang Life in East Los Angeles,” “Juvenile,” “Flesh Life: Sex in Mexico City,” “Still Here: Stories After Katrina,” and “Spanish Harlem: El Barrio in the ’80s” (Powerhouse Books).

    Recent exhibitions include Aperture Gallery, Galerie Bene Taschen in Cologne, Germany, Reva and David Logan Gallery for Documentary Photography at the Graduate School of Journalism in Berkeley, California, the Bronx Documentary Center in New York, NY, Gulf & Western Gallery in New York, NY, Hardhitta Gallery in Cologne, Germany, Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography at the University of La Verne, California, Third Floor Gallery in Cardiff, Wales, U.K., Institute for Public Knowledge in New York, NY, Moving Walls at the Open Society Institute in New York, NY, and Cultural Memory Matters at 601 Art Space in New York, NY.

    He has been a visiting artist at Stanford University, the Institute for Diversity in the Arts, California, the University of La Verne, California, Columbia University’s School of Journalism, New York, the University of Texas, Austin’s School of Journalism, Ringling School of Art and Design, Florida, the University of Helsinki, Finland, Aarhus University, Denmark, Royal University of Fine Arts’ School of Architecture, Sweden, Loyola Marymount University, California, Hostos Community College, New York, and the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, New York. He has taught at New York University Tisch School of the Arts and the International Center of Photography.

  • Khary Mason

    Khary Mason

    Khary Mason was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He is a former Detroit Police homicide detective. In 2020 Khary retired after serving 22 years. Looking back on his experiences, Khary often remarks on how altitude and the passage of time have given him a greater understanding of the world he seeks to change.

    When Khary’s wife gave him his first camera in 2002, many years would pass before Khary realized that his emerging art practice was beginning to lay the foundation in examining the visual and written language of self defense through the art of storytelling. By studying his own lived experience, Khary was able to identify a causal link between stories being created/told by the individuals depicted in them, and their ability to inform the storyteller’s, and audience’s, belief in what is possible.

    Khary, and Romain Blanquart launched Capturing Belief (CB) in 2016, a Detroit-based non profit that uses visual literacy and creative writing as instruments allowing students to better understand themselves and the world around them. In 2020 CB partnered with Inside Southwest Detroit to create “The Remote Ally Project”, an international initiative that allowed art lovers to experience the pandemic through the eyes of young people around the globe.

    Khary is a Documenting Detroit Fellow (2019), studying the effects of incarceration on individuals and their families, as well as a Salzburg Global Fellow (2021), working with peers around the world on international issues of youth violence, safety, and justice. In 2022, Khary became a member of the faculty at The Kalish picture editing workshop held at Rochester Institute of Technology.

    No one should be able to tell your story better than you” KM


  • Photoville


    Founded in 2011 in Brooklyn, NY, Photoville was built on the principles of addressing cultural equity and inclusion, which we are always striving for, by ensuring that the artists we exhibit are diverse in gender, class, and race.

    In pursuit of its mission, Photoville produces an annual, city-wide open air photography festival in New York City, a wide range of free educational community initiatives, and a nationwide program of public art exhibitions.

    By activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and creating unique and highly innovative exhibition and programming environments, we join the cause of nurturing a new lens of representation.

    Through creative partnerships with festivals, city agencies, and other nonprofit organizations, Photoville offers visual storytellers, educators, and students financial support, mentorship, and promotional & production resources, on a range of exhibition opportunities.

    For more information about Photoville visit,

  • Contact High

    Contact High

    VIKKI TOBAK is an author, journalist, and curator. She is the author of critically acclaimed books CONTACT HIGH: A VISUAL HISTORY OF HIP-HOP (Clarkson Potter/Random House), 2018); ICE COLD: A HIP-HOP JEWELRY HISTORY (Taschen 2022) and The Streets Win (Rizzoli 2023) . Her work has appeared in Complex, Rolling Stone, The FADER, ESPN’s The Undefeated, Mass Appeal, Paper, Vibe, i-D, the Detroit News, The Library of Congress and more. Tobak is also the curator of the traveling Contact High exhibition at the Annenberg Space for Photography, The International Center of Photography, Manarat Al Saadiyat (MAS)in Abu Dhabi and MoPOP (Museum of Pop Culture). Tobak and the exhibition were nominated for a Lucie Foundation Award for Curator / Exhibition of the Year. She is a former producer and columnist for CBS, CNN and Bloomberg News. Vikki got her start as a culture editor for Paper magazine before going on to work at Payday Records/Empire Management working with groups including Gang Starr, Jay-Z, Mos Def, Show and AG, Jeru and other hip-hop legends of the Golden Era. She has lectured widely about music photography and contemporary culture at American University, The Schomburg Center, The Kennedy Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

  • Magnum Foundation

    Magnum Foundation

    Magnum Foundation expands creativity and diversity in visual storytelling, activating new audiences and ideas through the innovative use of images. Through grant making, mentorship, and creative collaborations, we partner with socially-engaged imagemakers exploring new models for storytelling.

    This program was produced with the support of Magnum Foundation’s Counter Histories initiative supporting projects that creatively reframe the past to engage with urgent questions of the present and future.

  • TIME


    TIME is a 100-year-old global media brand that reaches a combined audience of more than 105 million around the world through its iconic magazine and digital platforms. With unparalleled access to the world’s most influential people, the immeasurable trust of consumers and partners globally, and an unrivaled power to convene, TIME’s mission is to tell the essential stories of the people and ideas that shape and improve the world.

  • The Washington Post

    The Washington Post

    The Washington Post is an award-winning news leader whose mission is to connect, inform, and enlighten local, national and global readers with trustworthy reporting, in-depth analysis and engaging opinions. The Post is as much a tech company as it is a media company, combining world-class journalism with the latest technology and tools so readers can interact with The Post anytime, anywhere. Our approach is always the same — shape ideas, redefine speed, take ownership and lead. Every employee, every project, every day.

  • We Build the Block

    We Build the Block

    We Build the Block is a New York City-based organization bringing our community together to build the future of public safety. We create community-developed and led models proven to reduce violence and increase safety. Working with a broad coalition of partners, we support local youth, pilot new initiatives, and advocate for change. We believe that by replacing over-policing with solutions built on the block, we can protect and support our most vulnerable communities.

This website was made possible thanks to the generous support and partnership of Photowings