In this panel, students from the program in Brownsville and Red Hook will present their photographs from the summer followed by a conversation about participatory photography, and ways that photography can be used to address social justice issues in the community.
Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 5 Uplands
This summer, 36 young people from the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville and Red Hook participated in a participatory photography program that teaches a documentary style of photography focused on issues related to their neighborhoods and self-exploration. In this panel, students from the program in Brownsville and Red Hook will present their photographs from the summer followed by a conversation about participatory photography, and ways that photography can be used to address social justice issues in the community.
Participatory photography gives youth the opportunity to connect in a visual dialogue that often excludes them. This project employs professional photographers to teach participants photography skills and engages students through a series of workshops, class critiques and culminates in a final exhibit. Teaching Artists Russell Frederick, Sam Barzilay, Brenna McLaughlin and Janay McNeil facilitated these workshops and students crafted visual stories from their own unique perspectives.
Russell Frederick is a photographer from Brooklyn, New York and is of Panamanian heritage. His global view and keen understanding of the human condition informs his compelling photography. Frederick discovered his love for photography after an introductory course at the International Center of Photography almost 20 years ago. Unable to afford a continuing education at the institution, Frederick taught himself by becoming a voracious shooter and spending countless days in book stores studying photography. His personal portraiture and visual activism projects have been primarily shot on black and white medium format film. Within the past decade, Frederick has had exhibits and presentations at the Brooklyn Museum, Photoville, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the MOCADA Museum in Brooklyn, the Reginald Lewis Museum in Maryland, the Visa pour l’Image photo festival in Perpignan, France; the Reportage festival in Sydney, Australia; the Shanghai International Photo festival in Shanghai, China; the Lodz photo festival in Lodz, Poland; the Angkor photo festival in Angkor, Cambodia; and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Besides his photography work, Frederick is also an educator who has taught and been on panel discussions at NYU, the International Center for Photography, the School of Visual Arts, and Columbia University.
Brenna McLaughlin is a photographer and educator, currently teaching at the High School of Art and Design—a Career & Technical Education (CTE) school located in Manhattan, New York. She believes the camera is an essential pedagogical instrument, and a way to tell inventive stories by empowering young people to share their perspectives of the world. As the photography teacher at A+D, McLaughlin spearheaded the curriculum for the three-year photography program. The CTE model is an incredible way to bring the real world directly into the classroom. McLaughlin believes art can help foster conversations to be an advocacy tool for Black lives, and so many stories that matter. She advocates for the photography industry to become a more balanced and diverse community. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
The Brownsville Community Justice Center engages young people in a wide variety of strength-based programming informed by positive youth justice, which views young people as assets in their communities.
The Brooklyn Arts Council is a service organization dedicated to helping artists, arts organizations and community groups promote and sustain the arts.
United Photo Industries (UPI) is a New York based nonprofit organization that works to promote a wider understanding of, and increased access to, the art of photography.
Since its founding in 2011, UPI has rapidly solidified its position in the public art landscape by continuing to showcase thought-provoking, challenging, and exceptional photography from across the globe. In its first seven years, UPI has presented the work of more than 2,500 visual artists in gallery exhibitions and public art installations worldwide.