Visions Beyond Racism: A Photography/Poetry Mashup.

Visions Beyond Racism:  How this Poetry/Photography Collaboration Was Born

Poet and author Terri Lyons and I may come from two markedly different places:  I’m from Chicago and Terri’s from Philly, but we are kindred souls.

We are moved, compelled and inspired to create, to use our gifts and talents as image makers (Terri uses the spoken and written word;  I use the lens) to speak out against racism and socioeconomic injustice, to be conduits through which the voiceless can sing, shout, proclaim and explain… to show the world that the problems of the marginalized are all of our problems.

When I was invited by Renny Molenaar, the owner of Philadelphia’s iMPeRFeCT Gallery to organize an event in conjunction with the gallery’s “Artists Against Racism” group show in 2012, I knew exactly whom to showcase.  I was very familiar with Terri’s work, having heard and photographed Terri many times at a local café here in Philly, performing her soul-stirring, socially conscious poetry.

The idea was simple: Terri would perform her work, accompanied by urban folk singer/songwriter/guitarist Osiris Wildfire, and I would curate a series of visual images to be projected on a screen behind Terri. Only part of the plan came to fruition, putting the spotlight on Terri and Osiris, which was perfectly good because it introduced them to a new audience.  The collaboration was so successful that Renny invited Terri and Osiris back to perform in conjunction with another exhibit, and Osiris has come back to feature at iMPeRFeCT since then!

However, the idea of pairing Terri’s poetry with my photography was not lost.  We hope that you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed laboring together to unite words with images to try to answer the question, now that we’re living in this “post-racial” society, now what??

Click on any of the images below to be taken to the full slideshow of work.  Please leave a comment or feel free to contact me or Terri directly with any questions.

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