Buffalo, NY–Just days before the Presidential election, photojournalist and ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art Director Orin Langelle will speak about his timely new exhibit If Voting Changed Things [1] during a First Friday artist’s talk at the Allentown gallery. The talk will take place at 7 p.m. on November 4th at 148 Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo. The event will include a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. including wine and hors d’oeuvres.

If Voting Changed Things documents protests at the Republican National Convention in Miami in 1972 as well as protests at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in New York City and Boston in 2004. This exhibit was timed to coincide with this year’s contentious election, and explores avenues for political change open to the public that are outside of the electoral system.

“The current uprising in Standing Rock, where indigenous peoples are trying to stop a new oil pipeline set to cross indigenous territory, is using many forms of direct action to protect sacred lands,” said Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project. [2] She continued, “The tactics used in this uprising, from civil disobedience to blockades of construction equipment, provide a stark contrast to the focus on the election as the sole option for having a say in what our future looks like.”

According to photographer Orin Langelle, “This Presidential election surely qualifies as one of most bizarre and fraudulent bread and circus reality shows ever designed to distract attention from the very real perils we collectively face.” Langelle added, “Clearly it demonstrates the need for fundamental systemic change. In the eleven elections since I shot those first protest photos at the Republican National Convention in 1972, things have only gotten worse. But not just worse. Catastrophic. We stand on the abyss of runaway climate change and are in the midst of the Sixth Great Extinction. Institutional racism is even more ingrained–with Buffalo being one of the most segregated cities in the U.S.”

David Reilly, a professor at Niagara University recently reviewed the exhibit [3] and said, “If Voting Changed Things… marginalized groups wouldn’t be in the streets. The electoral process in America has produced and validated a government that has produced institutional racism, militarization within and from our society, mass incarceration, crippling debt, perpetual war, homelessness, a failed health care system, eroding and ineffective education, and environmental exploitation.”

The exhibit is on display until December 2nd at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art. [4]

Contact: Kip Doyle, Media Coordinator, +1.716.931.5833 (office), +1.716.867.4080 (mobile) <[email protected]>

Notes:

[1] If Voting Changed Things

[2] Global Justice Ecology Project

[3] Reilly reviewed the exhibit for CounterPunch’s Weekend Edition on October 28th Complete the Sentence: an Exploration of Orin Langelle’s “If Voting Changed Things…”  and The Public on November 2nd At Buen Vivir: “If Voting Changed Things”

[4] The ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art was founded with the mission to utilize art and photography to present an historical look at movements for change, struggle and everyday life. It is designed to counter the societal amnesia from which we collectively suffer—especially with regard to the history of social and ecological movements and issues, and to inspire new generations to participate in the making of a better world.

The name of the gallery, ¡Buen Vivir!, is a concept stemming from Indigenous and other cultures of the Southern Americas. ¡Buen vivir! means life in harmony between humans, communities, and the Earth–where work is not a job to make others wealthier, but for a livelihood that is sustaining, fulfilling, and in tune with the common good. to utilize art and photography to present an historical look at movements for change, struggle and everyday life. It is designed to counter the societal amnesia from which we collectively suffer—especially with regard to the history of social and ecological movements and issues, and to inspire new generations to participate in the making of a better world.

¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art, 148 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, NY, +1.716.931.5833 buenvivirgallery.org

¡Buen Vivir! Gallery is part of the Social Justice Media Program of Global Justice Ecology Project