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Photography and Civic Engagement

Instrumental Democracy

1839-2020

Photography and Civic Engagement

Origins

1839-1900

Photography and Civic Engagement

We the People

1900-1950

Photography and Civic Engagement

Justice for All

1950-2000

Photography and Civic Engagement

Digital Democracy

2000-2022

Photography and Civic Engagement

Democracy

Ongoing

Instrumental
Democracy

1839-2020

Democracy

Ongoing

Origins

1839 - 1900
© Will Wilson

Andy Everson, citizen of the K’Omoks Nation, holds an image of his grandmother who played Princess Naida in Edward S. Curtis’s film, “In the Land of the Headhunters.” CIPX Seattle Art Museum, 2016 from the series Critical Indigenous Photographic Exchange (CIPX)

Digital Democracy

2000-2022

We the People

1900 - 1950

Justice for All

1950-2000

Photography and Civic Engagement

Coming Soon

The Democratic Lens discussion series examines how images have shaped America’s collective memory and inspired individuals to participate in civic life.

A fundamental principle of democracy is the active participation of people in civic life. The Democratic Lens will portray photography’s role in propelling civic actions by sharing images and stories about mobilized communities who actively work together towards a more just and democratic society. This discourse will address the historical and contemporary relationship between photography and civic engagement in the U.S. through pivotal moments in history like the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, 9/11, and rural poverty during the Great Depression that helped to shape America’s cultural landscape.

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Get the latest updates as we examine photography and lens-based media through interviews, lectures, and critical essays.

The programs will include free and open to the public programs and content in 2022-23. Stay tuned for more information as we unfold this exciting lecture series for our audiences.

The Democratic Lens lecture series will include six sections, each with a corresponding humanities theme, historical era, and selection of contributing scholars. In alignment with NEH Special Initiative’s “A More Perfect Union” theme, scholars will present photographs that connect audiences to the diverse cultures, landscapes, histories, and individuals who collectively shaped the nation. The Democratic Lens will prioritize underrepresented histories to emphasize the diversity of the citizenry. We will present accounts that illustrate the challenges our country has endured and the stories of how Americans have worked together to overcome them.

Schedule Highlights

Upcoming Scholar Lectures on November 20, 2022.
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