Weapon of Choice | Dialogue with Travon Free and Ruddy Roye

Weapon of Choice | Dialogue with Travon Free and Ruddy Roye

Featuring: Travon Free, Ruddy Roye

Presented by



Photoville Talks at St. Ann’s Warehouse are produced by United Photo Industries and supported in part by PhotoWings and the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.

Saturday, September 14 | 4:30PM – 5:30PM
Location: St. Ann’s Warehouse


In 1966, the late Gordon Parks described his camera as a “weapon” against racism, poverty, and injustice. Over 50 years later, photographers and writers Ruddy Roye and Travon Free discuss how and why their cameras are not only an important weapon in modern storytelling, but by demonstrating their work, they will explain why it’s critical to the landscape of photography for black and marginalized people to be the ones telling these stories.

RSVP to this talk on Facebook! All Photoville talks are free, first come, first served. Seating is limited and not guaranteed.


When not on the streets in search of the perfect photograph, Travon Free is a two-time Emmy and Peabody winning television writer, actor, and comedian from Compton, California. He is also the creator of the the HBO show Him or Her, executive produced by Issa Rae. He was most recently a writer/producer for Black Monday, starring Don Cheadle on Showtime, Lena Dunham’s <em?Camping and the new LA Lakers HBO drama Showtime, executive produced by Adam McKay.

He was also co-head writer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and his other writing and producing credits include The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, Any Given Sunday With Bill Simmons, Larry Wilmore’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner, and many more. His written work may also be found all over the web, as he is one of the most sought after young, comedic voices on social, political, and pop culture issues.

Instagram | Twitter 


Ruddy Roye is a Brooklyn based portrait and documentary photographer born in Montego Bay, Jamaica. He uses his camera as a tool that allows him to document the world around him, as he sees it. The images he produces speak to the human condition, addressing the myriad instances of suffering and injustice he witnesses daily, images that are often overlooked. Yet the images he produces of events such as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Black Lives Matter movement, chronic homelessness, and his own personal project When Living is A Protest, do not merely exist to capture misery, but also to convey resilience and compassion.

Roye’s portraits are frequently produced as a collaboration with the people he photographs, along with text that further humanizes them and evades their exploitation. Roye is inspired by the raw and gritty lives of grassroots people, poor people, the disenfranchised and especially those of his homeland of Jamaica. He strives to tell the stories of their victories and ills by bringing their voices to social media, and to matte-fiber paper.

He is a part of Kamoinge, a collective of African-American photographers, and was featured in the recent documentary Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People (2014), a feature-length film on Black photographers and photography in America, directed by Thomas Allen Harris. Roye has been named one of The 50 Greatest Street Photographers Right Now by COMPLEX (January 2014). Roye was named TIME’s Instagram Photographer of 2016.

Although Roye showcases his work in traditional exhibition environments, by posting his images on Instagram he is able to engage with over a quarter of a million followers, bridging the divide between viewer and collaborator, and collapsing the space between artist and audience to facilitate deeper engagement and understanding.

Website | Instagram | Twitter 


Leica represents a union of craftsmanship, design, and experience. It is a beautiful collision of art and engineering, and the future of form and functionality. Leica Camera is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary status of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellence, in the supreme quality and performance of cameras and lenses, and the iconic images that artists and photojournalists everywhere, captured with them.