Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People | 2014

Documentary, Historical
A look at the present and the past work of contemporary African American photographers who seek to reconcile legacies of pride and shame.

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Synopsis

This documentary presents contemporary African American photographers who are probing the recesses of the American nightmare with images of stories that had been suppressed, forgotten and lost, and shows how they engage African American history in their work. Artists include Carrie Mae Weems, Glenn Ligon, Lyle Ashton Harris, Hank Willis Thomas, Coco Fusco, Anthony Barboza, Clarissa Sligh, and Deborah Willis. Interviews with the artists discussing their inspirations and creative processes are interwoven with stories of pioneering Black photographers of both genders, whose images helped reclaim the collective self-worth and humanity of African Americans. Moving between past and present, it reveals Black photography as an instrument for social change, a pointed African American perspective on American history, and as a particularized aesthetic vision.

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