Zayira Ray
Zayira Ray

Featuring: Teen Photographers & Filmmakers

The Department of Photography & Imaging at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, in collaboration with United Photo Industries and For Freedoms’ 50 State Initiative, presents “cit.i.zen.ship: reflections on rights by teen photographers” with photographs, collages, and videos by high school students from across the U.S. that speak directly to the current moment that students, educators, and artists alike are experiencing and responding to. More than 50 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, a new sense of purpose is vibrating throughout our nation, prompting individuals to mobilize for societal change. These young artists and activists use various symbolic references to visually represent issues surrounding civil rights, resistance, environmental issues, immigration, race, class, gender, LGBTQ+ rights, gentrification, voting rights, disability rights, freedom of speech and more. High school students are not only responding to and engaging with human rights and social justice issues but also paving the way for new narratives in the future.

Photo credit: Zayira Ray


  • NYU Tisch Department of Photography and Imaging

    NYU Tisch Department of Photography and Imaging

    The Department of Photography and Imaging (DPI) in the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University is a four-year B.F.A. program situated in New York City. Centered on the making and understanding of images, DPI offers students both the intensive focus of an arts curriculum and a grounding in the liberal arts. We embrace multiple perspectives, and our majors work in virtually all modes of analog and digital photo-based image making, multimedia, new media, and post-photographic 3D simulation technologies. The studio work is accompanied by a wide-ranging critical studies curriculum. Our alums have gone on to work in a wide variety of creative fields. They are artists, documentary makers, journalists, fashion and editorial photographers, filmmakers, cinematographers, educators, writers, activists, craftspeople, coders, web designers, art directors, graphic designers, book designers and publishers, art historians, curators, art dealers, arts administrators, archivists, and more.

    Like all the departments at Tisch, our students come from all over the world with different outlooks and desires. We embrace those differences, and we are proud that there is no single defining look to our student work. We foster personal vision and offer a curriculum that is demanding but allows students the flexibility to take advantage of courses throughout the university. We want DPI to be a site of invention where our students are encouraged to think and see as well as engage with and understand the power of visual culture. We believe in the power of photography to celebrate diversity and intersectionality, and to address racism, gender discrimination, and all forms of intolerance.

  • For Freedoms

    For Freedoms

    We believe citizenship is defined by participation, not by ideology. Through non-partisan nationwide programming, we use art as as vehicle for participation to deepen public discussions on civic issues and core values. We are a hub for artists, arts institutions, and citizens who want to be more engaged in public life.

    Founded in 2016 by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman, For Freedoms is a platform for creative civic engagement, discourse, and direct action. Inspired by American artist Norman Rockwell’s paintings of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (1941)—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms’ exhibitions, installations, and public programs use art to deepen public discussions on civic issues and core values, and to advocate for equality, dialogue, and civic participation. As a nexus between art, politics, commerce, and education, For Freedoms aims to inject anti-partisan, critical thinking that fine art requires into the political landscape through programming, exhibitions, and public artworks. In 2018, For Freedoms launched the 50 State Initiative: the largest creative collaboration in U.S. history.

cit.i.zen.ship: reflections on rights by teen photographers

 archive : 2018

Featuring: Various Artists

Curated by: Lorie Novak Deborah Willis

Presented by: NYU Tisch Department of Photography and Imaging, For Freedoms
  • NYU Tisch Department of Photography and Imaging
  • For Freedoms

Supported by:

  • United Photo Industries (UPI)


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