Photography for Social JusticeBy Richard Myers
Notes by: Sharon Jarrett
The presenter for the meeting was Brian Biery who spoke on "Photography and Social Justice: Capturing the Human Condition". Mr Biery is the photographer for the book Power of One: Pasadenans Shaping Our Community, authored by Traude Gomez. The book is available at Vroman's Bookstore.
The meeting was recorded and can be found at the Pasadena Village YouTube channel from this link, Photography and Social Justice.
Using a series of slides, Mr. Biery engaged the group in an interactive discussion about various aspects of photography and documenting aspects of the community. The comments engendered are available on the recording.
Mr. Biery began by exploring how the participants use cameras on cell phones. Recording family and friends, demonstrating activities for social media pages were noted as the most frequent reason to use a cell phone camera. It was noted that social justice issues and events can also be a use for these cameras.
Mr. Biery then asked and explored photographic images that were dramatic and affected the participants over time. The work of Gordon Parks, iconic photos from history were noted. It was noted that three elements were part of the photos we remember...lighting, moment, composition. Participants continued to discuss photographs and their personal meaning.
Mr. Biery next showed a photo of a community demonstration related to gang violence in Pasadena in the 1990s.
Mr. Biery then showed a series of photos including:
Project Edeline, Institute Edeline Project which provides medical care in Haiti
Activism/Advocacy including demonstrations related to the murder of George Floyd
Life during the Pandemic
Mr. Biery concluded discussing the Power of One, of individual actions focused on the community. He indicated that one person can have a positive impact, can make a difference in the community, and can leave a positive mark. He gave examples of members of the community and their impacts. Included were a series of stories about unhoused community members who returned to being housed and went on to serve others in the community.
Finally, Mr. Biery reminded the participants that Lit Fest in the Dena will be from May 6th to 7th. On May 7th, there will be a series of panels at Mountain View Mausoleum. These panels will focus on various aspects of writing, poetry, teaching and explorations of history. Event details can be found at the link above.
The next meeting will be April 21st at 12:00 Noon, PST.