Creating Change: Art and Society

(by Ann Batchelder)

At photo+craft, the relationship between contemporary art and society will be brought to public attention through several events. Namita Gupta 

Wiggers‘ Keynote presentation looks at the role photography (through social media) plays today in creating virtual communities.

photo+craft Keynote Speaker Fred Ritchin,  will give a talk April 1 titled  “Bending the Frame: Photography and Social Change.”`

Social practice artists seek to alter the way people see the world and encourage new ways to move forward.  Alejandro Cartagena and Clarissa Sligh, two artists noted for their work related to social justice, 009-alejandro-cartagena-theredlistwill discuss “Making and Meaning: Photobooks and the Social Fabric.” Moderated by Eric Baden, this presentation will be held on Saturday, April 2 at Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center.

Cartagena’s self-published book Before the War was selected by both Time and Mother Jones as a 2015 best photobook of the year.

Sligh’s new artist book, Transforming Hate, is set to be released the weekend of photo+craft.

(For details/schedule go to:

Join the discussion March 31-April 3.                                                           Come curious.

PHOTOS (top to bottom):

Clarissa Sligh, “Progress, 2006” (White Face Collage: Free Trade is Progress for Who?), digital pigment print. inkjet pigment print. Edition of before_the_war_2050. Published by National Conference of Artists, Detroit, MI.

Alejandro Cartagena, from his series “Carpoolers.” Cartagena asks us to consider the political and economic structures that move energy, labor, and wealth throughout México.

Alejandro Cartagena, from his book Before the War. The book project is a compilation of images and texts that obsessively revisit places where the war was eventually fought and look for signs of an evil that lay underneath but was invisible to everyone´s eyes at the moment these images were shot.

clarissaslighClarissa Sligh, from “The Suburban Atlanta Series.”  The Suburban Atlanta series was published in A New Life: Stories and Photographs from the Suburban South, edited by Alex Harris with Alice Rose George. The images, texts, and excerpts from interviews, portray Atlanta as it was lived by people that Sligh met in 1996. In this series, the artist investigates the tensions between the fantasy and the reality of the Southern experience as experienced by people of color. She also explores the differences between individual freedom and 10_Transforming-White-Mans-Bible_3x4-440x549social convention. A New Life is a book published by the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University in association with W.W. Norton & Company.

Clarissa Sligh, from her “Transforming Hate” Project, an evolution from previous work transforming white supremacist books into metaphors for non-violence and tolerance.


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