LANGELLE PHOTOGRAPHY

Using the power of photojournalism to expose social, economic and ecological injustice

Posts from the ‘Environmental Portrait’ category

I was honored last week to present some of my photography for a class, ‘Resilience: Through the Lens’ to community photographers in Buffalo, NY.

The largest Ayoreo concentration camp is Campo Lorro, Paraguay. photo: Langelle

‘Resilience: Through the Lens’ was organized by Rebecca Newberry, the Executive Director of The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York, and Lauren Tent, the Education Director for the CEPA Gallery | Contemporary Photography and Visual Arts Center. My presentation to the class was held on October 4, 2018 at the CEPA Gallery.

Woman and daughter walking—another way out of Amador Hernandez is to walk the fifteen kilometers. The community was slated for forced relocation but resisted. photo: Langelle

I’m a member of CEPA and a co-recipient of Gallery’s 2017 Member’s Exhibition Award (please see the bottom of this post for further information regarding that exhibition and my subsequent solo show at CEPA’s Flux Gallery).

Although part of my presentation concerned my national and international photography that I have used to expose social, economic and ecological injustice, my main focus was my work with people of different communities. I showed photographs of the first concentration camp of Ayoreo Indigenous Peoples in Paraguay (above left), resistance in Amador Hernandez, an Indigenous village in the jungle of Mexico’s state of Chiapas (second above left) and most recently a detailed look into my work with Union Hill, a historic Black community founded by Freedmen and slaves.

Two members of the Union Hill community in Buckingham County, Virginia read a list of who was buried in this basically unmarked slave and Freedmen cemetery. The cemetery was hidden for many years. The list also contained the amount slave traders sold people to slave owners. photo: Langelle

The community of Union Hill is fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and a 55,000 horsepower compressor station planned by Dominion Energy. There are Freedmen and slave unmarked burial sites on or near the site where Dominion wants to build the compressor station.

Local residents see Dominion Energy’s disregard for their community as part of an established pattern of environmental racism in Virginia. The African American community fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a strong and proud community.

While at the burial site in Union Hill (above right) I was allowed to capture the intense feelings of the people present. To all it was a sad moment but, also a sense of closure to know where their ancestors are buried.

I discussed the impact that my photos and strategic communications had – and are still having.

This was no doubt one of my best experiences in sharing my images that are meant to foster social change while documenting history. The attendees at CEPA asked very pertinent questions and we engaged in an inspiring dialogue about photography and social change.

More on Orin Langelle and CEPA

On January 27, 2017 the CEPA Gallery (Contemporary Photography & Visual Arts Center) opened its yearly CEPA Gallery Members’ Exhibition. CEPA Gallery’s 2017 Members’ Exhibition featured the photography and photo-related work of some of Western New York’s most talented artists.

Photographers Natalie Dilenno and Orin Langelle received the 2017 Exhibition Awards.

The Exhibition Awards provided both Langelle and Dilenno to have solo exhibits at the CEPA Gallery in 2018.

Langelle Photography is a component of Global Justice Ecology Project‘s Global Justice Media Program

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Please view the exhibit here HERE

PREMIER EXHIBIT @ CEPA: CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY & VISUAL ARTS CENTER

January 26 – February 24, 2018 at CEPA’s FLUX Gallery (1st Floor), 617 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203

Shut out – Indigenous Peoples’ protest at United N Climate Conference. (Bali, Indonesia 2007)

CEPA Gallery is pleased to present, Portraits of Struggle, a selection of photographs spanning four decades by award winning photographer and activist Orin Langelle. Continued on CEPA’s Portraits of Struggle page.

 

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And now for something completely different:

Photograph by fellow board member Clayton Thomas-Muller.

Photograph by fellow board member Clayton Thomas-Muller.

Taken at a restaurant in Burlington, VT during the Global Justice Ecology Project’s board meeting in 2013.

Besides being board chair and co-founder of GJEP, Langelle is a concerned photographer, director of Langelle Photography and curator of the newly opened ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery in Buffalo, NY.

Clayton Thomas-Muller is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation, also known as Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba, Canada. He is involved with many organizations and struggles to protect Indigenous Peoples’ rights and the Earth.

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When Bob Dylan wrote those words in 1965 for his song Subterranean Homesick Blues, he was not referring to the climate crisis, though these words are certainly appropriate today as we stare down the jaws of the oncoming climate catastrophe.  One does not need to be a meteorologist to know that if we do not begin taking real, effective and just action to address the climate crisis, we are all in deep s#*t.

I shot this portrait of Bill Ayers, former Weathermen and Weather Underground founder, prior to his event at local independent radical bookstore Burning Books, here in Buffalo on 21 May.  This is the first of a series of candid portraits I will be taking of radical movement figures in collaboration with Burning Books.  The point of this endeavor is to document some of the people that have participated in the making of history in the ongoing struggle for freedom and justice – a history of victories, losses, mistakes and successes, that we can and should learn from.

Bill Ayres 1 DSC_0031Portrait of Bill Ayers before he spoke at Burning Books on 21 May 2014 in Buffalo, NY.   Photo: Langelle

From Wikipedia (for what it’s worth):

William Charles “Bill” Ayers (born December 26, 1944) is an American elementary education theorist and a former leader in the counterculture movement that opposed U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He is known for his 1960s radical activism as well as his current work in education reform, curriculum, and instruction. In 1969 he co-founded the Weather Underground, a self-described communist revolutionary group that conducted a campaign of bombing public buildings (including police stations, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Pentagon) during the 1960s and 1970s in response to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

“He is a retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, formerly holding the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar. During the 2008 US presidential campaign, a controversy arose over his contacts with then-candidate Barack Obama. He is married to Bernardine Dohrn, who was also a leader in the Weather Underground.”

More on Ayers in Wikipedia and in The Buffalo News60s radical Ayers still wants a revolution

About the Portrait

I met Bill in 1969 before he went underground.  Before taking his photo, I told him that.   Bill said, “You looked the same then as you do now.”  I returned the humorous compliment.

I was glad to have this chance to take candid photos of Bill, and to talk to and know him better.

I think that a portrait done well is very personal and can bring out the real person – which is my goal.  I want the real image of the real person.  The image of someone who is deeply committed to what they do and provides us a glimpse of why they do it.

This is history and these stories and faces need to be remembered.

About the radical independent bookstore hosting his talk, Ayers commented, “Burning Books stands strong as an essential community space where we can gather, dream big, and act on what the known demands of us.”

How true that is.  And I’m glad to be working with them to collaborate on this portrait project.  Special thanks to Leslie James Pickering and all at Burning Books for making this possible. More information on how Leslie and Burning Books are standing up to the FBI can be found here. – Orin Langelle

And from the archives of the FBI:

 

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