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Photos and Prints for Justice

May 31, 2018

For the past few months, SPNN’s Youth Action Committee has been involved in a very exciting collaboration involving photography and printmaking. The project started out when YAC members, a group of youth leaders at SPNN, identified a goal of working with a local artist to create media around social justice issues.  We invited local photographer and media artist Nancy Musinguzi to join YAC for this project, as she brings a wealth of experience taking photos that subtly, but powerfully, expresses her political views.  

Nancy worked with youth individually and in small groups, helping them figure out how to express their social justice issues artistically; topics from the environment, to domestic violence, to racism within the GLBTQAI+ community were explored in this project. She also introduced us to another collaborator, Proof Public, which took things things in a new and exciting direction. As a collaborative of letterpress printers committed to making the printing process accessible and available to all, Proof Public holds workshops for community members, seeking to amplify their message.  They invited YAC to join them at their studio, where we had the opportunity to learn about letterpress printing, and then try our hand at it, by creating posters to pair with our photos. On each poster, youth printed an original hashtag that was a “call to action” related to the photo it was paired with.  Letterpress printing was definitely a new experience for all of us, and an incredibly fun one!

The youth really enjoyed the experience. Said Imani, “I liked that I was able to take an issue I care about and turn it into something cool. I learned that you don’t have to be super-experienced to do printmaking”. Another participant, David, stated, “one thing I liked about this project was being able to evoke my experiences into the project. Being able to show how I feel about this serious subject might help someone else who is experiencing the same thing.” The paired photos and posters, as well as artist statements, are now on display in the gallery at SPNN. Please drop by and take a look at our final photos and hashtag posters and let us know what you think!