Monday, May 23, 2011

FOAM- The Jury Is In...

What can we do so that will we finally see people of color not only in front of the lens serving as ample, year round subject matter, but also as: photographers, judges, editors, gallery owners, workshop presenters and festival organizers in some representative proportion beyond mere tokenism?   -Joerg Colberg

We have officially received over a dozen constructive comments (not including my own) on the three previous posts concerning the question at hand... In other words, the very question FOAM has thus far excluded and put on trial seems to have generated more comments than any single question currently on What's Next?- and dollars to donuts I have no way near their readership. Will this question (in its original or "new and improved" version above- not some abridged bastardization), which has been tested, vetted, poked and prodded like no other, as per Foam's request, now be allowed to integrate unto their site- or will it remain pure of racial contamination? It's not too late to dialogue, engage and help better the situation- others are learning to do just that...

And others still are now openly engaging "the question." Joerg's post not only contributes additional insight, it also helps discourage the notion that this is a nominal or nonexistent problem noticed, perceived and felt only by artists, photographers and people of color. If we continue to "not see race," we will continue to ignore the proverbial elephant. Hopefully, we will one day evolve to practice what is purportedly meant by that saying- right now we must see it for the sorry excuse of a catchphrase that it really is.

Photographers (ie- those who pride themselves with their powers of observation) should be particularly attuned to this most obvious of disparities. Documentary photography in particular has long prided itself on holding up a mirror to the reality that surrounds us- it is time that the people who hold up those mirrors (eg- in the field, behind the desks, amidst the gallery walls) also reflect our multihued reality.

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