“I always had a happy life…I never had a sad life before, but sometimes I get confused–I struggle a little bit,” says my now 20-year-old brother, Liam, at our grandmother’s apartment in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan.
In 2014 I began photographing my brother’s day-to-day life, to try and better understand how he sees the world. At an early age, Liam was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Liam’s World focuses on depicting a more faithful portrayal of living with autism. Each image contains a handwritten caption by Liam, describing his thoughts and feelings. Having Liam write his own captions allows him to have authority over how his story is shared.
This work has helped me to better understand who my brother is as a person, and how he exists in the world. Liam’s World aims to amplify my brother’s voice, and it also inspires people living with disabilities to share their own stories.
Erin Lefevre is a documentary photographer from New York City whose work focuses on under-reported social issues. Erin studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she earned her Associate degree in Photography. She then transferred to the San Francisco Art Institute, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography. Erin is currently working towards her Master’s degree in Education, at Pace University in New York City.
Erin got her start in photojournalism by interning at MLive, The Muskegon Chronicle in Michigan, and other newspapers throughout the Midwest. After her internships, she began her freelance career. Erin has also worked as a photo editor, and taught photography to middle and high students with the Brooklyn Public Library, International Center of Photography, and Community Heroes. She currently works as a Special Education public school teacher in District 75.
Her work appears in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the British Journal of Photography, Huffington Post, and ProPublica, amongst others. Accolades of her work include the Wellcome Photography Prize 2019, Getty Images Creative Bursary Grant 2018, and the 2017 Missouri Photo Workshop Spirit of the Workshop award.
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, www.photoville.com
Featuring: Erin Lefevre
LocationsView Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn
1 Water Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
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EDUCATION DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
What do you know about autism? Do you see anything in the images that confirms or contradicts what you know?
Who is speaking through the text on the images? How does that text change your understanding of the photos?
Is it possible to photograph something that is invisible to the eye? If so, how?