Black representation through photography
On 17 August at Tolhuistuin in Amsterdam, various experts will discuss Gordon Parks’ use of photography as a weapon against poverty, racism and social inequality.

The conditions under which Parks’ photography, literature and films originated offer a basis for discussing current social matters on emancipation and representation of black identity in photography. During the event Weapon of Choice: Photography and Black Representation, Gordon Parks´ influence as a storyteller and his role in breaking new ground for African American artists will be discussed.

Art historian, curator and professor Deborah Willis is the keynote speaker of the programme. She will give an historical overview of black representation in photography with an emphasis on the work of Gordon Parks. The following guests will contribute to the event:

  • Kim Knoppers, Foam, curator of the exhibition Gordon Parks – I Am You. Selected Works 1942-1978;
  • Nana Adusei-Poku (PhD), independent scholar and writer- on contemporary visual culture and black representation;
  • Renée Mussai on The Black Chronicles - a project by Autograph ABP (UK) that focuses on exploring black presences in 19th and early 20th-century Britain;
  • Guillermo Blinker, spoken word artist and contemporary dancer- performance; about media imaging and police brutality.
  • The Black Archives, a unique collection of books, archives and artefacts, which contains the legacy of Surinamese and black writers, scientists and movements, whose stories in the Netherlands have remained invisible for a long time.  

The evening will begin and end with music by Lion Kojo.

The exhibition Gordon Parks - I Am You. Selected Works 1942-1978 is made possible with support from the American Embassy and the Democracy and Media Foundation. With special thanks to The Gordon Parks Foundation.

Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Delta Lloyd, the City of Amsterdam, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

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Black representation through photography