On Friday, the Star Tribune sent me to photograph Taylor Swift’s first Minneapolis show on her Reputation tour. She performed at the US Bank Stadium, AKA the new Viking’s stadium that was built for this year’s Super Bowl. Charli XCX and Camila Cabello opened for her. You can see my photos alongside Jon Bream’s review of the show here at the Star Tribune.
Last night I waded into crowds of supporters to capture results of Minnesota’s DFL gubernatorial primary race between Erin Murphy/Erin May-Quade and frontrunners Tim Walz/Peggy Flanagan. Walz came out ahead, with 41.6% of the vote compared to Murphy’s 32%, meaning he’ll go on to face Republican candidate Jeff Johnson in November. See the rest of Minnesota’s primary results on The New York Times
Edit: Twin Cities Business Magazine later published one of these images in an article about education.
I’m honored that my recent project on Good Chance Theatre was shortlisted for the 2018 Marilyn Stafford FotoReportage Award from FotoDocument! A selection from that work will be exhibited in a group show at the After Nyne Gallery in 2019, alongside work from the other shortlisted photographers.
The piece was also recently featured as part of Groundtruth Project’s Emerging Photographers series. They asked me to share my thoughts on the project, so here’s what I wrote:
Public perception of refugees tends to fall into one of two camps: downtrodden aid recipients or social parasites, victims or villains. The label “refugee” is so loaded that it obscures the actual people to whom it applies, painting them more as characters in geopolitical morality plays than as living humans. Among the mountains of media produced about refugees, precious little of it deviates far from either side of this refugee-as-victim/refugee-as-villain dichotomy. Less still takes the refusal of this dichotomy as a foundational pillar.
My project looks at Good Chance Theatre, an arts group that works with refugees, in order to explore how the arts can be a tool for complicating those myths and building cross-cultural bridges. Specifically, the project explores The Dome, a temporary theater run by Good Chance that sat alongside La Bulle, France’s first temporary shelter for asylum seekers.
Though it’s referred to as a theater, the Dome looks more like a community center devoted to collaborative art. It brings together artists, migrants, refugees and volunteers through workshops that explore a variety of art practices. In these workshops, participants are able to escape from the stresses of daily life in the shelter, try on new ways of relating, process what they’re going through, and connect with people across linguistic and cultural divides. In the words of Abdul Saboor, an Afghan photographer and refugee who volunteers with Good Chance, “[The Dome] is a place where we can forget, and where we can feel like we’re not alone. We can feel like we have a family and people who take care of us and who show us their love, and who don’t think they’re different from us.”
In the Dome, everyone is treated as fellow artists and humans, first and foremost. That foundation of mutual respect creates an environment where people can experiment and take creative risks without judgment, and where collaborative artistic exploration is possible.
This project aligns with my primary area of fascination: namely, how alternative communities organized around principles of justice can serve as models for the rest of society. I hope it stands as testament both to the socially and psychologically transformative power of the arts, and to the infinitely complex humanity beyond the label “refugee.”
We had fun taking nighttime naked portraits for the sake of art and experimentation and getting out of our stressed out heads. Nothing more, nothing less.
Yesterday parents, students, and community members joined hands to form a “human chain of love” around Hale Elementary School in Minneapolis to protest political inaction on gun violence. They stood silently for 17 minutes, holding each other’s hands, in remembrance of the 17 people who were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14th.
[Hands Around Hale] was a poignant reminder that Sandy Hook could happen again if nothing changes.
For more, read the [MinnPost article] where some of these photos were published.