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10 June 2009

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Well stated John. As in so many other areas of Euro-American society, in photography the scarcity of people of color is manifest. Ironically several of the icons of photography are in fact African-American - think Stanley Greene and Gordon Parks - yet their example has yet to sensitize the larger world. I know LOOK3 is sensitive to this, but its just hard to turn an ocean-going ship (US society) which has traveled at full speed in one direction for several hundred years.

QCC was delighted to have the opportunity to have our work at our Urban Farm, the QCC Farms! Garden of Goodness, documented as part of LOOK3. Once we were contacted by a couple of photographers, I logged onto the Festival website to see what exactly to expect. I was dismayed to see only one image of an African American on the entire site, and he was in bed. My consternation only grew when I learned that the photographer I directed to a tent city mainly occupied by caucasian homeless men, elected instead to photograph latinos at Southwood. However, those images showed a much greater diversity of experience among those individuals versus what was shown of African American life in Charlottesville, which was limited to our garden and folks on Hardy Drive. It saddened me to think that the people who attended the festival from around the world would go home thinking that all African Americans live in poverty.

Thanks so much for the update on how the festival has been going; I've loved reading your opinions and perspectives on the various elements of the festival thus far. The exhibits have been looking fantastic, I'm without a doubt going to have to make a point of being in town for next season.

Hi John,

just come across your brilliant blog, with thoughtful and insightful writing.

As somebody who lived in Ethiopia, and loved that country and its people with all my heart, I despair with the representation of African people.

Following the debate we started on the duckrabbit blog about the fact that PDN had a 24 strong all white judging panel for their review of the year I believe there is still a long way to go before color is no longer an issue in the photographic world (as in many others)

http://duckrabbit.info/blog/2009/06/pdn-passive-racism/

Hi John,

Being a resident of Cville and knowing that LOOK won't be held next year
why don't you seize the opportunity and mobilize photographers of color
and host your own festival to showcase those that have been overlooked
or who have been flying under the radar.

Seems like an incredible window of opportunity to effect some awareness.
Perhaps, you could call it 'Look Again'.

Best,
Mark

Hello, Mark.

I couldn't agree more. And a number of us have started planning an event. Please stay tuned. We hope to announce something within a few months.

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