Photograph by Danielle Scruggs
For many Black female and nonbinary photographers, the visual medium is our “choice of weapons.” We wield the camera as an activist intervention into spaces where the white male “gaze” continues to dominate practices and traditions in photography. Rebel Vision offers a vibrant array of photographs taken over the last few years to underscore a radical shift in photography wherein Black vision and voices are valued. By centering the work of marginalized photographers, we can chart the collective possibilities of the image as resistance. Through these images by Black women and nonbinary photojournalists, a new picture of Black culture emerges that centers community, connection, and collective liberation.
Black women behind the documentary lens often negotiate a delicate balance: telling authentic visual stories of a world that refutes our right to live or disregards our experiences, as we also strive to accurately reflect the multitudes contained within our communities. The photographers featured in this exhibit include award-winning independent and staff visual journalists who have spent decades pushing back against a homogenous and dismissive news photography industry, alongside others relatively new to the profession. Collectively, their views of the world contextualize, historicize, and emphasize Black femme photographic practices as resistance in a time when our voices must be urgently uplifted.
Featuring: Gabriella Angotti-Jones, Vanessa Charlot, Chloe Collyer, Dee Dwyer, Sylvia Jarrus, Sarahbeth Maney, Stephanie Mei-Ling, Tara Pixley, Danielle Scruggs
Currently The Empire Fulton Lawn on Brooklyn Bridge Park is closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays so the new grass can recover from heavy foot traffic each week. If you would like to view one of the exhibitions on the lawn during that time, please reach out to the Photoville team in advance [email protected]
Designer: Livia Foldes, livia-foldes.com, @liviatronic
Body type: Utile by Sibylle Hagmann kontour.com
Thank you to our generous partners: Photoville, Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, Leica Women Foto Project, National Press Photographers Association, and Photoshelter
About The Artists
Gabriella Angotti-Jones is a photographer based in Los Angeles, California, and is formerly a staff photographer for the Los Angeles Times. She was previously an intern at the New York Times, following internships at the Tampa Bay Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle. She graduated from San Francisco State University, where she earned a degree in environmental studies.
Vanessa Charlot is an award-winning photojournalist/documentary photographer, filmmaker, lecturer, and curator. Her work focuses on the intersectionality of race, spirituality, economics, and sexual/gender expression. She shoots primarily in black and white to disrupt compositional hierarchy and explore the immutability of the collective human experience. The purpose of her work is to produce visual representations free of an oppressive gaze. Charlot seeks to humanize Black bodies through her photography—restoring the dignity and vitality of those often shot as subjects divorced from context, motives, and histories. Her work invites us all to question our relationship to what we think about when we see Black bodies as static images and in motion. She has worked throughout the United States, Caribbean and Southeast Asia. Her photographs have been commissioned by the New York Times, Gucci, Vogue, Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, Oprah Magazine, the Atlantic, the Guardian, Apple, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, Artnet News, the Washington Post and other national and international publications. She lectures at the International Center of Photography.
Chloe Collyer (they/them) is a documentary photographer in Seattle, Washington, specializing in editorial portraiture, photojournalism, and video.
Dee Dwyer is a diversified photographer from Southeast, Washington, D.C. who produces awe-inspiring images. She has been anointed by her community as “The Visual Voice for the People.” Her goal is to show all aspects of human life, with the primary focus being humanity. Her work has been shown in exhibitions such as PhotoSCHWEIZ, Photoville, and Catchlight amongst many others. Her work has been featured in publications such as Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, BET, the Guardian, Bloomberg Businessweek and more. Dwyer currently resides in Washington, D.C. with her two children.
Sylvia Jarrus (she/her) is currently a summer photo intern at the Seattle Times in Seattle, Washington. Jarrus is also a freelance visual journalist based in Metro Detroit, Michigan. Working alongside dedicated reporters and photographers has pushed her to explore her passion for storytelling. Her goal is to reveal truth and connection in her work. Her clients include AARP, Bloomberg, the Detroit Free Press, Education Week, Medium, NBC News, Reuters, the Globe and Mail, the Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Vice, and Vanity Fair among others.
Sarahbeth Maney is a 2021-2022 New York Times photography fellow covering politics in Washington D.C. Originally from the California Bay Area, her personal work focuses on education, disability, and injustice that disproportionately impacts Black and brown communities. As a journalist, her goal is to further representation within the industry and portray each story as honestly as it exists. Maney received a bachelor’s degree in photojournalism from San Francisco State University in 2019, where she also served as the National Press Photographers Association chapter president. During that time, Maney interned at the San Francisco Chronicle, Flint Journal in Michigan and the San Francisco Examiner. Most recently, she received a grant from the Pulitzer Center and Diversify Photo to continue documenting a story about pregnancy and housing insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, TIME, the Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, CNN, the Guardian, HuffPost, Bloomberg, Forbes, Refinery29, and the Globe and Mail, among others.
Stephanie Mei-Ling is a Black-American/Taiwanese documentary photographer based between Brooklyn and Los Angeles. Through her work, she explores layered issues such as the complexity of intersectional identity, elevating the narrative of invisible communities, society’s fetishization of marginalized subcultures, the universality of otherness through a global lens, and the appropriation, re-appropriation and reclaiming of cultural narratives.
Danielle A. Scruggs is a picture desk editor for Getty Images and a freelance photographer and writer based in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Howard University with a degree in journalism, and from the Maryland Institute College of Art with a master’s degree in digital art. She attended the Kalish Workshop for Visual Editing and the New York Times Portfolio Review in 2018. She has exhibited her personal work across the United States and has been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Byrdcliffe, and the Wassaic Project. She has written about visual culture and film for RogerEbert.com, Ebony, Teen Vogue, The Triibe, Rangefinder, ARTS.BLACK, Essence, Artsy Magazine, and Observer.com. Scruggs is also the founder and editor of Black Women Directors—a digital library highlighting the work of Black women and non-binary people in film.
About The Organization
Tara Pixley, Ph.D. is a visual journalist, curator, and professor based in Los Angeles, where she is an assistant professor of journalism at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Pixley is a 2020 awardee of the inaugural World Press Photo Solutions Visual Journalism Initiative and was a 2016 Visiting Knight Fellow at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism. Her writing and photography have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, Newsweek, ProPublica, HuffPost, Nieman Reports, ESPN Magazine, CanonPro, and the Black Scholar, among many others. Her filmic and photographic work intersect with her scholarship and advocacy—each addressing the intersectionality of race, gender, class, visual rhetoric, and the potential for visual media to reimagine marginalized communities. She is a co-founder and board member of Authority Collective—an organization dedicated to establishing equity in visual media. She is currently working on a book chronicling the move to decolonize the visual journalism industry.
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