Truth to Power: Sojourner Truth at BAMPFA

“I SELL THE SHADOW TO SUPPORT THE SUBSTANCE.” SOJOURNER TRUTH In 1864 Sojourner Truth, a former slave turned abolitionist, filed a copyright for her name, using photography and mass media as a strategic tool to fight slavery and the damaging propaganda used to perpetuate it. Her astute use of “cartes de visites”using her nom de plume was an economical … Continue reading Truth to Power: Sojourner Truth at BAMPFA

When Ignorance Isn’t Bliss: Youthful Indiscretions Don’t Always Remain in the Past

The theme for this week: “Youthful Indiscretions”.  Our memories of the mistakes of our youth are sharply influenced by how we recount them over time. This week, a 32 year old swimmer at the Olympics got the benefit of an extension of his youth.  Ryan Lochte was labeled a “kid” who was just having fun … Continue reading When Ignorance Isn’t Bliss: Youthful Indiscretions Don’t Always Remain in the Past

The Let Down: Netflix’s Ambitious Take on the Birth of Hip Hop Falls Flat

The 2015 Netflix trailer for the Get Down gave us glimpse of 1970’s New York and the birth of hip hop with the fire and drama you would expect from a Baz Luhrmann production.  When the show launched August 12, they managed to deliver on lush cinematography, stunning style and familiar hip hop samples, but well after an hour into … Continue reading The Let Down: Netflix’s Ambitious Take on the Birth of Hip Hop Falls Flat

Camilo Jose Vergara’s “Old New York”

Camilo Jose Vergara’s work takes a historical photographic look at the dramatic evolution and dissolution of New York’s neighborhoods over decades. I really love his early early 1970’s work.  For me, the most captivating series is “Old New York”, a body of photos that exposed the neglected, desolated, apocalyptic cultural landscape existing in the South Bronx. In these pictures you … Continue reading Camilo Jose Vergara’s “Old New York”