Emily Schiffer holds an MFA in Art from the University of Michigan and a BA in Fine Art and Afro-American Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2005, she founded the My Viewpoint Youth Photography Initiative on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. In 2011, she partnered with the Center for Urban Transformation and the Magnum Foundation to create SEE POTENTIAL, a community engagement project on the South Side of Chicago, which installed documentary images on abandoned buildings to advertise community-driven redevelopment plans. SEE POTENTIAL built an interactive SMS texting/mapping platform to track the support for each idea. In 2014, Schiffer co-created Danube Revisited: The Inge Morath Truck Project, in which eight female winners of the Inge Morath Award converted a truck into a mobile gallery, retracing Morath’s footsteps along the Danube, and expanding her project by producing new imagery. This project was exhibited at Espacio Fundacion Madrid as an official exhibition of Photo Espana 2016.
Selected awards include: an Audience Engagement Grant from the Open Society Foundation, a Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund Grant, the Arnold Newman Prize for New Directions in Portraiture, the Inge Morath Award, and a Fulbright Fellowship in Photography.
Fanmi M, Men Yo!(“My Family, There They Are!”) is a series of abstract photographs of queer Haitians in history, culture, and the current reality. The work, created as a Lakou NOU 2022 artist-in-residence with Haiti Cultural Exchange, celebrates and acknowledges the fluidity of queer Haitians, honoring their ability to imagine and create kind futures for the queer community in New York, Haiti and around the world.
Lakou NOU features collaborative community-based art projects that explore what it means to be Haitian American—to belong to two cultures, two worlds—and to be Black in America while also staying true to your heritage.
By constructing sets of intimate living spaces, and positioning both Black and Haitian Americans in these re-imagined realities, Haiti To Hood examines the social dynamics within Haitian-American identity.