People with autism have minds that work in astonishing ways and, often, physical behaviors that don’t necessarily conform to societal norms. These behaviors can be unique and challenging. When we are faced with differences, we often turn away. Understanding begins by looking.
The goal of this project is to create a conversation between those whose brains are wired differently and those considered neurotypical. Offering an intimate look at the lives of those with autism, this project aims to inform, sensitize, and challenge all of us with these questions: Where is my place in society? Will you welcome me?
Please look. Please consider the lives of Max, Morgan, Abigail, Brandon, Becky, the young lovers, the fearful, the bullied, Thalya — the artist and her magical mind.
Autism is recognized as a disorder of communication and emotional connection. Many people on the spectrum can’t convey their thoughts through conventional speech. They may communicate with monotone sounds or choose not to speak at all. Nonspeaking is not nonthinking. The rich lives of people on the autism spectrum exist in many ways: they are poets and artists, scientists and bakers, parents and activists. We are all enriched by their unique perspective.
Lynn Johnson photographs the human condition. A regular contributor to National Geographic, she is known for finding beauty and meaning in elusive, difficult subjects—threatened languages, zoonotic disease, rape in the military ranks, the centrality of water in village life, mysteries of the brain. Hate Kills, her master’s thesis as a Knight Fellow at Ohio University, probed the impact of hate crimes. At National Geographic Photo Camps, she helps at-risk youth find their creative voices. And at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, she developed and teaches a program that challenges master’s students to push past their comfort levels in pursuit of their stories’ truth. She herself is committed to that search frame by frame. Johnson has worked for LIFE and Sports Illustrated and published 36 feature stories in National Geographic Magazine. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the Robert F. Kennedy Award and Pulitzer finalist on two occasions.
Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues. National Geographic, the most popular brand on Instagram, has more than 215 million followers.
NYC Parks is the steward of more than 30,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City — including more than 5,000 individual properties ranging from Coney Island Beach and Central Park to community gardens and Greenstreets. We operate more than 800 athletic fields and nearly 1,000 playgrounds, 1,800 basketball courts, 550 tennis courts, 65 public pools, 51 recreational facilities, 15 nature centers, 14 golf courses, and 14 miles of beaches. We care for 1,200 monuments and 23 historic house museums. We look after 600,000 street trees, and two million more in parks. We are New York City’s principal providers of recreational and athletic facilities and programs. We are home to free concerts, world-class sports events, and cultural festivals.
For autistic youths entering adulthood, a new world of challenges awaits
Featuring: Lynn Johnson
LocationsView Location Details Washington Street and Prospect Street
Washington Street and Prospect Street
DUMBO, Brooklyn 11201
Location open 24 hours
Designed by: Alexandra Moreo