College for Creative Studies and the Photography Department Presents:
“Photography for Social Change”
Tuesday - March 21, 2017 / 5:00PM – 8:00PM
Walter B. Ford Auditorium
Photographers have often used their cameras as an instrument of reform, to show the world a problem and convince people to work toward a solution. The human process of remembering images as events is what makes the media of photography so poignant in the role of bringing attention to societies ills.
The College for Creative Studies and the CCS Photography department have invited two well know photographers and activists: Wendy Ewald and Vincent Cianni to discuss with the CCS community how their efforts brought attention to their particular causes.
CCS professors Bill Vilicenti and Carlos Diaz will also discuss their experiences with their classes and students: “Re-Documenting Detroit’“. Redocument Detroit is a multi-semester sponsored partnership between The Detroit Historical Society (DHS) and the Photography Department. The DHS was awarded a Knight Arts Challenge Grant in 2015 to support their continuing mission to photographically document the changes to the environment and culture of Detroit. This project is made possible with the support of: The Detroit Historical Society, The Knight Foundation, Brendan Roney, Senior Digitization Technician, Detroit Historical Society and Tracy Irwin, Director of Exhibitions and Collections, Detroit Historical Society.
Wendy Ewald was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1951. She has spent more than 40 years collaborating with children, families, and teachers all over the world.
In her work, she encourages her collaborators to use cameras (as well as using the camera herself) to record themselves, their families and their communities, and to articulate their fantasies and dreams. Ewald often has them mark or write on her own negatives, thereby challenging the concept of who actually makes an image. She has had solo exhibitions at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Corcoran Gallery of American Art, the Fotomuseum in Winterthur, Switzerland among others and participated in the 1997 Whitney Biennial. Her many honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
This Is Where I Live
‘With time I’ve learned to back off from the world’, writes Wendy Ewald, ‘and let it
reveal itself to me by giving cameras to my subjects to photograph’. For this project, she began by collaborating with students, teachers and families in five schools, including elementary schools in Nazareth and several military academies. Working with digital cameras for the first time made it possible for Ewald to extend her project to include fourteen communities and propose a collective portrait of life in Israel and the West Bank. She worked with shopkeepers in the Jerusalem market, Gypsy children in the Old City, elderly Palestinian women in East Jerusalem, high-tech workers in Tel Aviv, as well as additional schools. These communities eventually produced tens of thousands of images, along with writings and local exhibitions. Her book, This Is Where I Live, combines photographs made by the projects’ participants, their testimonies and Ewald’s portraits and extensive research.
Documentary photographer Vincent Cianni graduated from Penn State University, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and SUNY New Paltz. He teaches photography at Parsons The New School of Design, NYC. He currently lives in Newburgh, NY. Cianni’s documentary work explores community and memory, the human condition, and the use of image and text. We Skate Hardcore was published by NYU Press and the Center for Documentary Studies in 2004 and in photo journals and anthologies such as Double Take, Photograph, Creative Camera, The Sun, and The New Yorker. His photographs have been exhibited at Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Nasher Museum, Photographers’ Gallery, London; the 7th International Photography Festival in Mannheim; and the George Eastman House. A major survey of his work was exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York in 2006.
Duke University’s Rare Books, Manuscripts and Special Collections Library established a study archive to “insure the preservation of the documentary record created” throughout Cianni’s career as a documentary photographer, including photographs, negatives, video, notes and correspondence made in conjunction with the projects. His photographs are represented in numerous public and private collections: George Eastman House, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum of the City of New York, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Kinsey Institute for Sexual Research, and Bibliotecque National de France.
Carlos Diaz is a Professor of Photography and former department chair at the college for Creative Studies where he has taught for 32 years. Prior to his position at CCS, Diaz taught at Bowling Green State University and the University of Michigan, School of Art.
Diaz was awarded sabbatical in the winter 2015 to continue work on ROUGE, The Legacy of Detroit and the Autoworker and traveled to Japan to begin a new project photographing landscape and meditation gardens at Shinto Shrines and Buddist Temples. His work has been included in numerous collections, public and private, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Ross Museum of Art; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Museum of the City of New York; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. He is currently represented by the David Klein Gallery and Photo-eye Gallery in Sante Fe, New Mexico and formally represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago and the Sarah Morthland Gallery in NYC. Before his formal studies in the arts, Diaz was a mechanical draftsman and designer in numerous capacities. He is the recipient of a University of Michigan Rackham Graduate Fellowship (3 years) and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ford Foundation, NEA Midwest, Polaroid Foundation, Michigan Council for the Arts; Individual Artist Grants (3 years) and the Kresge Community Arts Grant and bestowed the Wayne County Artistic Excellence and Community Commitment Award.
Celebrating thirty years as an active professional photographer, Valicenti’s images have supported a wide variety of industry segments, from financial services, major national retail catalogers to extreme sport product markets. Collaborating both in studio and on location with the design industry’s top art directors and Fortune 500 marketers’, his work has received international acclaim, most notably with eight PDN Annual Awards and three Black Book AR100 honors.
A career rooted in photojournalism, Valicenti’s recent professional work has been with non-governmental organizations and not for profit institutions. His personal work centers on documentary projects that examine the nuances of societal issues, concerns and ironies. As well, on weekends, you might spot Valicenti trackside at a Midwest motocross event, capturing the fury and documenting that sport’s unique subculture of senior citizen racers, for a long term project.
Valicenti has been at the College for Creative Studies as full time faculty since fall 2008.