Myra Greene present on her in-progress book, My White Friends, at the Photo-Bookworks Symposium this Friday, June 29
Myra Greene, from the series My White Friends.
My White Friends extends my 10-year exploration into photography’s description of race. This body of images explores the challenges of describing whiteness and assumptions about social circles. For this body of photographs I ask those close to me who identify as white about the qualities of their racial identity. These color images depict confidants, mentors and peers who have shaped my understanding of identity even though we have different racial profiles. They are attempts to image a racial category that has an intangible description. Some images are documents of my time with friends, others are performances of whiteness by the sitter, and then there are images in which I impose my own stereotypes of whiteness.
This series is amazing & it is all of my favorite things about photography: technically proficient, aesthetically pleasing, simplistic, and hella thought-provoking.
Here’s an article about Myra Greene on the New York Times. I was pretty blown away by the comments section. There are a number of problematic, face-palmy remarks, but overall, discussion is happening amongst people of different races/ethnicities and it is happening in a very respectful and not-so-snarky manner.
& I feel, like, totally overjoyed about that. First, because these important discussions are happening outside the “radical” subculture among “normal” people, and secondly because the discussions are not disintegrating into yr typical chaotically offensive Internet debate…
Aside: I have wavering feelings about the necessity and permissibility of rage when dealing with problematic shit — I mean I get it, anger is a valid and appropriate reaction to oppression, and it’s not the oppressed person’s job to be available 24/7 to teach people how not to be jerks. But I also get that I’ve most effectively learned about things from others and explained about things to others by avoiding sarcasm, snark, anger, and general haughtiness. I don’t know, for me, it comes down to constantly learning how to pick my battles.
In any case, here is art project that just says everything that needs to be said with a title, a statement paragraph, and a handful of pictures. A+