Humans are not immortal. We all have a date in which we will pass on. We could live till we reach 105, or our lives could be cut short tomorrow without warning.
This is a story about two people who have chosen to see their cancer diagnosis as a gift. Despite the physical and mental battle of coping with treatment and the side effects of chemo, Shirley and Tato have decided to use this time to ‘live’ with cancer instead of ‘dying’ from it. Sharing their stories and solidifying their life’s legacy.
Within this exhibition we will be asking viewers to respond with their own memories and how they may reimagine their lives and final days.
This collaboration proudly produced and commissioned by United Photo Industries with support from the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, has been inspired by the Visible Ink program, a writing program for Memorial Sloan Kettering patients, and the upcoming Reimagine festival which will be held in NYC from October 27 – November 3, 2018.
About Shirley Reese
With eight children, twenty-two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren, 64-year-old Shirley Reese is a radiant spirit. She has stage four cancer in her esophagus and multiple tumors in her lungs. She says that most people in her condition are on a feeding tube, but ‘Mama Reese,’ as everyone calls her, has been an advocate her entire life and is now determined to use her cancer experience to uplift and strengthen those around her.
A native of Honduras, Tato is undergoing treatment for stage four colon cancer. His partner and six children, the youngest only three, remain in Honduras, while he experiences most of his cancer journey on his own in Queens. He once read somewhere, ‘Don’t waste your cancer,’ and he has since been committed to making a positive impact by sharing his story.
Kisha Bari is an award-winning photographer from Australia who is passionate about capturing people through portraiture and visual storytelling with a focus on humanitarian issues. She has worked with a range of subjects from America’s union workers to Native American leaders, and from world-renowned ballet dancers to rockstars.
Kisha has been featured in three solo exhibitions at Photoville, New York City’s biggest photo festival; her portrait documentary How Sandy Hit Rockaway (2013), and ReSisters : Behind the Scenes of the Women’s March (2017) and this year’s ‘The Meaning of Now : Living Life with Cancer’. Her work has been published by numerous media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone and Cosmopolitan Magazine.
Kisha most recently photographed the I Am A Child campaign with Creative Director & activist Paola Mendoza, which can be seen at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee through December 2018.
United Photo Industries (UPI)
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.
NYC Media & Entertainment
The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s mission is to support and strengthen New York City’s creative economy and make it accessible to all. In 2019, the creative industries accounted for more than 500,000 local jobs and have an economic impact of $150 billion annually. MOME comprises five divisions: the Film Office, which coordinates on location production throughout the five boroughs; NYC Media, the city’s official broadcast network and production group; the Office of Nightlife, which supports the city’s nighttime economy; the Press Credentials Office, which issues press cards; and Programs and Initiatives to advance industry and workforce development across NYC’s creative sectors.
Founded in 2008, Visible Ink is the largest writing program of its kind, serving Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) patients of all ages and backgrounds: during treatment, after treatment, and throughout long-term survivorship. The program is free of charge, and it is also open to MSK staff, caregivers, and those healing from loss. Visible Ink now welcomes participants from the New York City Hospitals (Coler, Queens Cancer Center, and Kings County Hospital).
Research has shown that expressive writing can reduce stress, nurture confidence and creativity, and enhance overall well-being. Visible Ink mentors help participants advance their creative horizons in any form they choose, from fiction, poetry, essay, drama, memoir, and beyond.
More than 2,400 participants have enrolled since the program began, producing more than 75,000 pages of writing, and more than 250 mentors have shared their expertise, including bestselling novelists, Tony and Emmy Award winners, poets, journalists, teachers, and editors for major print and online publications.
Each year Visible Ink publishes an anthology, and stages a performance of works by participants that features stars from Broadway, film and TV. Recent performers include Tony and Emmy Award-winning actors David Hyde Pierce, Debra Monk, Susan Lucci, and Hamilton star Marc delaCruz.
Reimagine End of Life is a community-wide exploration of death and celebration of life through creativity and conversation. Drawing on the arts, spirituality, healthcare, and design, Reimagine creates a weeklong series of events that breaks down taboos and brings diverse communities together in wonder, preparation, and remembrance. From October 27- November 3, 2018. All five boroughs of New York City are joining together to create more than 100 events exploring big questions about life and death.
The Meaning of Now: Living Life with Cancer
Featuring: Kisha Bari
LocationsView Location Details Brooklyn Bridge Park – Emily Warren Roebling Plaza
1 Water St
Brooklyn, NY 11201
This location is part of Brooklyn Bridge Park
Explore other locations and exhibitions nearby